Archive of films The Holy Girl / La nina santa

Argentina / Spain / Italy
2004, 106 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2004

Fourteen-year-old Amalia is the heroine of a story about the fuzzy boundaries between good and evil and the danger which lies in wait for anyone who divides them to strictly into categories. Raised as a Catholic, the girl decides to save from sin the man who is seducing her mother.


Winter in the city of La Ciénaga. Catholic-raised, 14-year-olds Josefina and Amalia are eager to find the answers to such questions as the existence of God and the devil, but they are also secretly interest in their bodies and sex. The topics unexpectedly merge when a medical conference is held at the hotel owned by Amalia´s family, where the girl lives with her divorced mother Helena. Ear, nose and throat problems seem pretty boring, until one of the guests - Dr. Jano - begins to intrigue Amalia. She discovers that the respected specialist is interested in her mother, and that the acquaintance started at an earlier date. Even as a teenager Helena admired him and he returned her interest. Now they are afforded an opportunity to turn long-time fascination into action. But Helena hesitates: the man is still tied to his own family. Amalia draws Josefina into the matter; they feel a responsibility to rescue the man´s soul before he commits a mortal sin.

About the director

Lucrecia Martel (b. 1966, Salta, Argentina) came to Buenos Aires at the age of twenty to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming a filmmaker. She gained recognition with the short film Rey muerto (1995) when it was screened at a number of festivals (San Sebastian, London, Hamburg, Mannheim); it was awarded at Havana, among others. In 1995-98 she directed the children´s TV programme "Magazine for fai" (1996-99) and, produced by Lita Stantic, the two documentaries Encarnación Ezcurra (1998) and Silvina Ocampo (1998). At the Sundance Film Festival she won the prize for Best Script for her feature film debut, The Swamp (La ciénaga, 2001), which also took the Alfred Bauer Award at the Berlinale and was presented in 2002 at Karlovy Vary. The Holy Girl was screened in competition at the 2004 Cannes festival.


HBO Films London
98 Theobald´s Road, WC1X 8WB, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 984 5048
Fax: +44 207 984 5052

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Lucrecia Martel
Screenplay: Lucrecia Martel
Dir. of Photography: Felix Monti
Music: Andres Gerszenzon
Editor: Santiago Ricci
Producer: Lita Stantic
Production: Lita Stantic Producciones S.A.
Cast: Mercedes Morán, Carlos Belloso, Alejandro Urdapilleta, Maria Alché, Julieta Zylberberg
Contact: HBO Films London


Lissa Lebel


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