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La Ciénaga (The Swamp)

In the midst of drunkenly lounging beside her filthy swimming pool, bourgeoisie matriarch and all-around monster Mecha (Borges) falls on several broken glasses, necessitating a trip to the hospital and the perpetual assistance of her family thereafter. So begins Martel's debut feature, one of the masterpieces of contemporary Latin American cinema, which follows Mecha's children and distant relations as they navigate life in an uncomfortable, overcrowded house and the sticky title swamp that surrounds it. Martel's trademark disorientation and discontinuity are on full display here, as is her pessimistic view on the Argentinian middle class.

Chicago: April 7 & 11 at Siskel Film Center.