Skip to main content

HOLY GIRL, THE

Argentina, 2004 (MIFF 2004, FedEx International Panorama)

Director: Lucrecia Martel

The Holy Girl (La Niña Santa) Argentina

In Official Competition at Cannes this year, The Holy Girl is a potent tale of sexual awakening and religious guilt, set in a small, claustrophobic Argentine town.

16-year-old Amalia, like many girls her age, is questioning her religious beliefs. After choir rehearsals she chats with her best friend Josefina about faith, vocation and, in secret whispers, kissing. Amalia lives in a run-down hotel operated by her divorcee mother, Helena, confined like a goldfish endlessly circling in its bowl.

A medical convention brings the reserved Dr. Jano and his lascivious colleagues to the hotel and, away from his wife and children, Dr. Jano finds himself free to indulge his sexual appetite. While passing a group of onlookers watching street performers, the doctor presses himself up against a young girl, who turns out to be Amalia. Taking this as a religious sign to embark on a vocation, Amalia becomes obsessed with trying to 'save' Dr. Jano's soul. Meanwhile the doctor, attracted to Helena, but morally torn because of his own marriage, finds himself entangled in desire and misunderstanding.

D/S Lucrecia Martel P Lita Stanic WS HBO Films London L Spanish w/English subtitles TD 35mm/Col/2004/106mins

Lucrecia Martel was born in Salta, Argentina in 1966. Films include: The Swamp (2001).

See also...

ANA AND THE OTHERS

Ana and the Others (Ana y los otros) ArgentinaAfter living in Buenos Aires for a number of years, 25-year-old Ana returns to her small Argentine hometown of Paraná. Catching up with former friends ... More »

LIGHTWEIGHT

Lightweight (Poids Léger) France Sharp, rapid and powerful, Antoine boxes as a lightweight. Recently orphaned, he is the pride and joy, as well as surrogate son, of Chief, who runs the amateur club ... More »

EXILES

Exiles (Exils) France ... Winner of the Best Director prize at Cannes, Exiles is MIFF regular Tony Gatlif's (Swing, MIFF 2002) latest intoxicating, music fuelled, and most personal cinematic delight ... More »

ROADS TO KOKTEBEL

Roads to Koktebel (Koktebel) Russia Selected in Critic's Week at Cannes this year as the FIPRESCI Revelation of 2003, this emotionally engaging road movie, full of magical and arresting visuals, has ... More »

NINA

Nina Brazil 'Young Nina, an intelligent and talented comic-strip artist, has a full-time job attending hip parties and scraping together enough money to finance her lifestyle. This latter activity is ... More »

COWARDS BEND THE KNEE

Cowards Bend the Knee Canada'straight from the guilt mines of Guy Maddin's psyche to the collective unconscious of stunned audiences, Cowards Bend the Knee is film autobiography at its most ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director