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Directed by Lucrecia Martel

Argentina, France, Italy, Spain 2008 87 mins. In Spanish with English subtitles

Lucrecia Martel’s third feature, premiering in competition at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, divided critics from the start, owing to its moody, claustrophobic portrayal of a traumatized woman—not normally the subject of a major film at the world’s most important film festival. María Onetto stars as Verónica, a middle-aged and middle-class woman who one day runs over something while driving a dusty back road and hits her head. She enters into a kind of waking stupor, to which her friends and family incessantly reply that everything is fine. Martel’s art, with The Headless Woman, is taken to a new level of poignant abstraction and symbolism—continuing her examination of Argentina’s moneyed classes, their place in the world, and their blindness not only to the problems of wider society but also the boxes into which they’ve trapped themselves. Screened on 35mm courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.