WOMEN BEHIND THE LENS

Lucrecia Martel

Jesse Szymanski | January 6, 2021

Lucrecia Martel is an Argentine film director, screenwriter and producer whose feature films have been showcased at Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto, and many other international film festivals.

Martel first used a video camera in her early teens after her father bought one to store memories of their large family. "A very big investment for us," she said of the camera, which nobody in the family used it but her. "I began recording conversations and everyday things: family stuff." Her passion for being behind the lens from a young age stayed with her and her body of work, including shorts, television and feature films, has not only garnered awards, but also attracted a good deal of academic attention. Many scholars have written extensively regarding her films’ critiques of gender and sexuality, as well as its bold depictions of class, race, nationality, and colonialism.

Three of her feature films received international acclaim, including the adolescent drama The Holy Girl (2004), the psychological thriller The Headless Woman (2008), and the period drama adaptation Zama (2017). Film scholar Paul Julian Smith wrote in 2015 that she is “arguably the most critically acclaimed auteur in Spanish-language art cinema outside Latin America” and that her “transnational auteurism and demanding features have earned her a hard-won reputation in the world art cinema festival circuit.

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