The Headless Woman [Fiction]

Lucrecia Martel
Argentina, France, Spain | 2008 | 87 min
Language : Spanish
Subtitles : English, French

Lucrecia Martel’s third feature film, shot in her native Salta, stars Vero, a woman beset by confusion. Distracted while driving, she thinks she has run over someone. All she sees on the side of the road is a dead dog. Anchored in a powerful political context, La mujer sin cabeza reflects on the mechanisms of denial and highlights the forms that dissolution of responsibility can take.

Vero, majestically portrayed by María Onetto with extraordinary nuance, is the "headless woman", in possibly the most complex, disturbing and quintessential film by Lucrecia Martel. A car accident on the road, apparently without major consequences, unleashes the erratic behaviour of the protagonist - a bourgeois woman from Salta, a city in Northern Argentina - who no longer recognises the space she inhabits or - rather - no longer recognises herself in this space where everything has become strange: her lover, her husband, her daughters... as if she no longer belonged to that microcosm. In parallel, the confirmation of a death on the road triggers a patriarchal network of class protection through the concealment of evidence, the absolute denial of the accident and the invisibilisation of poor persons. The film, in its portrayal of the apparent everyday banality of Vero's large family, carries a deep turbulence, as if the dense time of the past could inhabit the present. Lucrecia Martel’s precise cinematographic language invites a political reading that exposes the violence exerted with impunity by the Argentine bourgeoisie.


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Barbara Alvarez
Guido BerenblumChristophe BourreauPaula DalgalarandoMariano Rosa
Miguel Schverdfinger
Roberta Ainstein
Agustín AlmodóvarPedro AlmodóvarTilde CorsiVerónica CuraEsther GarcíaLucrecia MartelCesare PetrilloEnrique PiñeyroVieri RazziniMarianne Slot
Sales contact

Guest of Honour Lucrecia Martel

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