Nine years after the critically acclaimed The Headless Woman
, director Lucrecia Martel returns with Zama
, a colonial-era satire based on the 1956 existential novel by Argentinian writer Antonio Di Benedetto.
Don Diego de Zama, played by Daniel Giménez Cacho, is an officer of the Spanish Empire marooned at a colony in the wild tropics of Paraguay. Zama faces a series of violent power-plays, humiliating follies and characterful llamas, as he awaits a letter from the king granting a transfer and promotion. His situation is delicate since he must ensure that nothing overshadows his goal, which means submissively accepting every task entrusted to him by a succession of capricious governors. Years pass and the letter never arrives. When Zama ultimately realises that everything is lost, he joins a party of soldiers that go after a mysterious bandit.