Zama (2017)

# 14802 IMDb Unrated 

Zama (2017

By Lucrecia Martel

Drama (1h 55min)

Argentina Argentina, Brazil Brazil, Spain Spain, Dominican Republic Dominican Republic, France France, Netherlands Netherlands, Mexico Mexico, Switzerland Switzerland, USA USA, Portugal Portugal, Lebanon Lebanon

Rated 6.7 after 2,353 votes on 08-Oct-18.

22 wins & 36 nominations


Based on the novel by Antonio Di Benedetto written in 1956, on Don Diego de Zama, a Spanish officer of the seventeenth century settled in Asunción, who awaits his transfer to Buenos Aires.

Popular faces

Lucrecia Martel (director) Daniel Giménez Cacho Lola Dueñas Juan Minujín Mariana Nunes Rafael Spregelburd Agustín Almodóvar (producer) Pedro Almodóvar (producer)



Daniel Giménez Cacho (Don Diego de Zama), Lola Dueñas (Luciana Piñares de Luenga), Matheus Nachtergaele (Vicuña Porto), Juan Minujín (Ventura Prieto), Nahuel Cano (Manuel Fernández), Mariana Nunes, Daniel Veronese (Gobernador), Carlos Defeo, Rafael Spregelburd (Capitán Hipólito Parrilla), Jorge Román, Camila Sosa


Antonio Di Benedetto (based on the novel by), Lucrecia Martel (writer)

Produced by

Agustín Almodóvar (co-producer), Pedro Almodóvar (co-producer), Joslyn Barnes (co-producer), Alejandro Cacetta (co-producer), Vânia Catani (producer), Juan Manuel Collado (associate producer), Pablo Cruz (co-producer), Benjamín Doménech (producer), Eva Eisenloeffel (co-producer), Elvira González Fraga (associate producer)...

IMDb Comment

The radiant colors of fire sparks in the night, shocking pink native dyes and lush green moss, and oscillating cascades of sound including exotic guitar, electronic interludes and soothing lapping waves, these and other rich innovations bring extra zip to the already thrilling story of Don Diego de Zama. Zama, a Spanish administrator in 1700s South America, refuses to adjust to his surroundings and instead pines for the continent and habits he left long ago. As his expected transfer to Spain hangs in limbo, Zama's paranoia about the dangers of the local landscape and hostility towards those of different races, increases. He lives in a bubble of his own creation. Yet if the sulking and morose Zama will not visit the pulsing and vibrant new landscape around him, it will visit him.

Director Lucrecia Martel deftly makes the audience part of the story. The scenes she provides are rich and dazzling in a variety of ways; color, sound, wildlife, clothing, furnishings, evident historical research, insight into human nature, brilliant acting and more. Her portrayal is wonderfully balanced. Martel does not glorify the past, nor does she skewer it. Pristine and beautiful scenery of lakes, rivers and forests are offset by glimpses of the morgue with its cholera and plague victims, the cruel and routine punishments and torture implements of the time and whirling ceiling fans that remind you of what the tropics without air conditioning must feel like. Martel's sensitivity and depth of feeling is astounding. The film audience, for example, is not provided with subtitles of native languages. "We deserve to not understand what the natives are talking about," said Martel who was at this Toronto International Film Festival screening. "History taught around the world is mostly about the colonizers." In one scene there are three sisters who revolve around a central point in a room, and Martel wants it to seem like they are part of a miniature music box. Such wonderful little touches. The film is spiced with brilliant lines throughout. "Europe is best remembered by those who were never there," for instance, and "nighttime is safer for the blind." The film is based on a novel by Antonio Di Benedetto.


Official submission of Argentina for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 90th Academy Awards in 2018.


22 wins & 36 nominations 
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Argentina • Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards • Bildrausch Filmfest Basel • Goya Awards • Havana Film Festival • Indiewire Critics' Poll • International Cinephile Society Awards • International Online Cinema Awards (INOCA) • Munich Film Festival • Palm Springs International Film Festival • Rotterdam International Film Festival • San Sebastián International Film Festival • Seville European Film Festival • The Platino Awards for Iberoamerican Cinema

Other titles

Ζάμα (Greece) • Zama (Portugal)



Argentina:13 / Australia:M / Brazil:14 / Canada:14A / Mexico:B15 / Netherlands:16 / Portugal:M/14 / Singapore:M18 / Switzerland:16 / United Kingdom:15 / United States:Unrated


Bananeira Filmes, CNC (with the support of), Canana Films (co-production), El Deseo (co-production), Institut Français (with the support of), Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales (INCAA) (with the support of), Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales (ICAA) (with the support of), KNM (co-production), L'Aide aux Cinémas du Monde (with the support of), Lemming Film (co-production), Louverture Films (co-production), MPM Film (co-production), Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Développement International (with the support of), Netherland Filmfund (with the support of), O Som e a Fúria (co-production), Patagonik Film Group (co-production), Perdomo Productions, Picnic Producciones (co-production), Programa Ibermedia (with the support of), Rei Cine, Schortcut Films (co-production)


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