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 »

RED LIGHTS

Red Lights (Feux Rouges) France A suspenseful, Hitchcockian thriller with twists and shocks aplenty, Red Lights, which screened in Official Competition at Berlin this year, is the latest masterful ... 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 »

WORK HARD, PLAY HARD

Work Hard, Play Hard (Violence des échanges en Milieu Tempéré) France'Philippe Seigner is 25, with a promising career ahead of him. Having just graduated, he arrives in Paris from his provincial ... More »

SOMNAMBULANCE

Somnambulance (Somnambuul) Estonia Eetala is a young woman who lives with her ageing father in an isolated cottage beside the Baltic Sea. They exist in a dreamlike, watery world of islands, reeds and ... More »

BAADASSSSS!

Baadasssss! USA Mario Van Peebles was 13 when his filmmaking father, Melvin, asked him to perform his first on-screen sex scene in the groundbreaking 1971 blaxploitation flick Sweetback's Baad Asssss ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director