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865 Ratings

The Holy Girl

La niña santa

Directed by Lucrecia Martel
Argentina, Netherlands, 2004


Schoolgirl Amalia comes alive when a stranger rubs up against her in a crowd. The man happens to be a prestigious doctor who is staying in the hotel run by Amalia’s divorcee mother for a medical convention. Inflamed by both warped love and curiosity, the pious-perverse girl begins to stalk him.

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The Holy Girl Directed by Lucrecia Martel

Critics reviews

Martel mixes notion of religion and perversity with a probing wit worthy of Buñuel (the film is often wryly funny), while her meticulous visual compositions and vivid sound design recall the work of Robert Bresson. Yet the warm characterizations, which transcend the sharp humor, are unmistakably Martel’s.
April 27, 2018
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What are people saying?

  • Renton47's rating of the film The Holy Girl

    Like Breillat's Fat Girl this is a non-prescriptive view of burgeoning teenage sexuality, a time when children unskillfully try to engage in the confusing signals of the adult world. It is also a film of unassailable visual and literary density, so artfully constructed that its hallways feel like a labyrinth even in its simple plot. There is a shot where a character is revealed by a swinging door that stunned me.

  • Tyler's rating of the film The Holy Girl

    Such a pleasure when the images come back like memories a week after watching, and all of the meanings start pouring out — the horror and power of the subverted female gaze, the blissful, shared alienation of childhood friendships, the absolute comedy of the final plot developments... it’s like adolescence itself: a scary, confusing mess of feelings that seems so simple and beautiful upon reflection

  • bryanvmh's rating of the film The Holy Girl

    In my opinion, Martel's masterpiece. The focus on breath and suffocation, on guilt and faith, on sex(Mother) and purity(Daughter), on the theremin's ability to produce music out of the same air that is sprayed diligently with pledge AND febreeze - the elliptical editing makes all of these seemingly disparate ideas coalesce into indistinguishable interchangeability. Also, prescient in its focus on Jaro

  • Jason's rating of the film The Holy Girl

    Martel would be the first to tell you that sound plays a preeminent role in her work, but it always plays both a functional and aesthetic role in serving her rigorous montage. Pictorial grace, aural depth, formal adhesion. Martel invokes late Bresson for me (though she is no mere mimic). LA NIÑA SANTA uses form and scenario to fruitfully pathologize a milieu, doing special service to female subjecthood.

  • bigspringdoc's rating of the film The Holy Girl

    I found the film absolutely fascinating. There's more going on under the surface than just a coming of age story. All of the main characters in the film are sexually repressed, but this may not necessarily be a bad thing since the alternative are the doctors who are chasing every tail that works at the hotel. The moog musician is able to play music without touching anything tangible; a parallel?

  • Slowart's rating of the film The Holy Girl

    lucrecia is always so refined and groundbreaking, that even with nina santa, her minor work, she is irreplaceable, she is the best living director working with sound, has her own distinctive themes, which become clearer with every film she makes, i like the milieu she's showing, the way her characters communicate,frames in form of tableaus, and especially the restrained suspense of her stories + swimming pools

  • tiagomx's rating of the film The Holy Girl

    Lucrecia Martel realiza o purgatório humano. Pedofilia e inocência juvenil, letargia e culpa. Olhar feminino sobre a carne

  • Edwin N's rating of the film The Holy Girl

    Spirituality, fanatism and open sexuality seem as 'blendable' as water and oil, but with Lucrecia Martel, I guess it's as good as a nice vodka orange.

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