La niña santa, Lucrecia Martel, Argentina-Espainia-Italia-Herbehereak, 2004, 106’
The second feature length film by Martel and her first collaboration with El Deseo, the production company of Pedro and Agustín Almodóvar, who decided to support the talent of the Argentine filmmaker after discovering her first film.
In this film there are also swimming pools, and their healing properties are mixed, once again, and as happened in La Ciénaga, with certain darkness and perversion. Once again we are in the province of Salta and there are family relationships that are confused and under the threat of a storm and fevers.
Amalia is a teenager who lives in a hotel run by her mother. Along with her best friend, she attends talks on religious devotion, where they talk about virgins, saints, miracles, stigmas and love. This is when the appearance happens: Dr Jaro arrives at the hotel to attend a medical congress. This is when the teenagers create their divine plan: to save the doctor from his most secret inclinations.
In her second film Martel deploys all the features of her style: ellipses as a form of storytelling, the richness and complexity of the soundtrack, offscreen events, gazes and bodies, families and their blood mixing, latent sexuality, closed spaces and conflicts that are always at the brink of exploding, as if they were a force of nature.
The film premièred in the Official Section of the Cannes Film Festival the same year that Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore won the Palme d'Or with a jury presided by Quentin Tarantino.