Martel’s masterpiece. It contains what is perhaps the most sensitive placement of people inside the frame. Dialogue is secondary; nowhere is the friction between characters expressed better than on their faces and movements to and away from each other. Cassavetes and Dreyer would have been proud.
Marel's debut was a wry Buneulist trip into rural Argentina examining two related families in a claustrophobic and revealing way. A calling card for the director that put her on the international map. One feels the slow passing of time; the heat; the boredom and the strange feeling of family secrets and inapproriate relationships. In the background the question of faith, family and class structure.
The comparison to Cassavetes is totally valid, but let's not forget how much this feels like Bunuel. The family, seemingly trapped inside the compound for most of the film, not able to leave, not able to separate themselves from each other. No one can get out of anybody's way here and it's claustrophobic as all get out. Great, great film.