Cinema Tropical Selects Lucrecia Martel’s ZAMA as the Best Latin American Film of the Decade Based
Zama, the fourth feature by Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel, has been selected as the Best Latin American Film of the Decade (2010-2019) based on a poll of international film festival and cinemathèque programmers from the Americas and Europe conducted by the New York-based non-profit organization Cinema Tropical, the leading presenter of Latin American cinema in the United States.
Martel has topped Cinema Tropical’s list of Best Latin American Films of the Decade for a second consecutive time after her 2001 debut feature, La Ciénaga, was named Best Latin American Film of the Aughts (her second and third features, The Holy Girl and The Headless Woman, were also included in that edition’s top 10).
The 14-hour-plus Argentine film La Flor by Mariano Llinás took the second position, followed by the Colombian film Embrace of the Serpent by Ciro Guerra, which marked Colombia’s first Oscar nomination, and Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Cinematography.
Films from six countries—Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay—made it onto the list, which includes two documentaries: the 2010 landmark film Nostalgia for the Light by Patricio Guzmán and Mexico’s Tempestad by Tatiana Huezo.
“This list is a clear proof that for another decade, Latin America continued to be one of the main epicenters of international cinema. Latin America has played a key role for the advancement of global cinema, offering new and exciting narratives, despite the fact that the cinema of the region remains largely overlooked” says Carlos A. Gutiérrez, co-founder and executive director of Cinema Tropical.
Ninety-seven programmers from the Americas and Europe participated in the poll, including Diana Sánchez, Senior Director of Film at the Toronto International Film Festival, Alberto Barberá, Director of the Venice Film Festival; Dennis Lim, Artistic Director of Film at Lincoln Center; and Cecilia Barrionuevo, Artistic Director of the Mar del Plata Film Festival. In total, 234 films were mentioned in the poll from throughout the region, paying testament to the vitality of Latin American cinema.
The Top 10 Latin American Films of the Decade are:
1. Zama by Lucrecia Martel, Argentina, 2017
2. La Flor by Mariano Llinás, Argentina, 2018
3. Embrace of the Serpent by Ciro Guerra, Colombia, 2015
4. Roma by Alfonso Cuarón, Mexico, 2018
5. Nostalgia for the Light by Patricio Guzmán, Chile, 2010
6. Post Tenebras Lux by Carlos Reygadas, Mexico, 2012
7. Aquarius by Kleber Mendonça Filho, Brazil, 2016
8. Jauja by Lisandro Alonso, Argentina, 2014
9. Tempestad by Tatiana Huezo, Mexico, 2016
10. Araby by Affonso Uchoa and João Dumans, Brazil, 2017 (tie)
A Useful Life by Federico Veiroj, Uruguay, 2010 (tie)