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La Nina Santa [2004] [DVD]


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La Nina Santa [2004] [DVD] + Headless Woman [DVD] + La Cienaga (The Swamp) [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Maria Alche, Carlos Belloso, Mercedes Moran, Alejandro Urdapilleta, Julieta Zylberberg
  • Directors: Lucrecia Martel
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 25 July 2005
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B0008JII3Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,868 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Lucrecia Martel's film is an enigmatic and absorbing tale about the temptation of good and the evil it causes. Sixteen year old schoolgirl Amalia (Maria Alche) lives with her divorcee mother, the manager of a shabby hotel which is hosting a medical conference. When a stranger makes a crude pass at her in a crowded street, Amalia later discovers that it was in fact one of the distinguished conference attendees, Dr Jano (Carlos Bellosos). Consumed by the heady combination of her fervent religious education and burgeoning sexuality, Amalia resolves to save the respected doctor from sin, a mission that brings both their worlds to the brink of collapse.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 5 Dec 2005
Format: DVD
Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel established herself with her first film "La Ciénaga" ("The Swamp") in 2001. "La Nina Santa" ("The Holy Girl") was her second feature, and a 2004 Cannes Film Festival entry. Set in the town of La Ciénaga, Amalia (Maria Alche) lives with her glamorous, divorcee mother, who runs a slightly seedy hotel, currently occupied by doctors attending a medical conference. One of the doctors makes a lewd advance while Amalia is watching a musician in the street. Initially shocked, Amelia proceeds to stalk him, uncertain whether she hopes to save his soul or inflame her own body, caught in a confusing web of frustration, desire, and anticipation, never sure whether she is erring on the side of sin or vocational service.
The tale of teenagers is set against a background of instruction in the Catholic faith and her teacher's efforts to inspire Amalia and her friends with religious fervour and a vocation to save others from sin. Martel describes her film as one which explores good and evil - not the battle between them, but the difficulty distinguishing one from the other. The teacher doubtless believes she is doing good, but her teaching is claustrophobic and corruptingly sanctimonious. Martel has also commented that there are comparisons between medicine and holiness - both can lead to good, both can corrupt.
It's a slow-paced, atmospheric film, stripped of glamour, oppressively naturalistic in its representation of adolescence, and bluntly uncritical of the religious straitjacket created for the young women. Martel makes no moral judgements but lets the narrative play along. The viewer can judge.
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