Professor, Social Documentation Program and Film + Digital Media Department, University of California, Santa Cruz
Daniel Giménez-Cacho, Lola Dueñas, Matheus Nachtergaele, Mariana Nunes,
Adapted from the 1956 novel by Argentine writer Antonio di Benedetto, Zama is a Buñuelian glimpse into a colonial abyss via the mind and body of Don Diego de Zama. An officer of the Spanish crown stationed at a remote proto-Paraguayan outpost, Zama exists in perpetual anticipation of his transfer home. Martel describes Zama as a “man trapped in who he thinks he is,” and over the course of the film we observe his struggle to preserve his morality, identity, and sanity while waiting interminably for relocation.