Archive of films The Empty Nest / El nido vacío

Argentina / Spain / France / Italy
2008, 92 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2009

A man and a woman float on the surface of the sea. Are they dead or just relaxing? A meditation on marriage and couples, and on the space children fill within the family: how do we respond to the void created when they leave home?


An educated and successful playwright and writer, 50-year-old Leonardo, and his wife Martha appear to be model parents of three. But as soon as their youngest daughter leaves Buenos Aires to get married in Israel, the couple begins to reevaluate just how happy they really are. Once a promising student of sociology, Martha gave up her career because of the kids, but she never reconciled herself to this sacrifice. Leonardo responds to their empty nest with writer’s block, and he no longer has anyone to blame for the mess or other petty transgressions. Like Martha, there is now no reason to "think of the kids” and suppress his feelings. Martha decides to make up for the years of sacrifice by returning to university and surrounding herself with the people she so missed. For his part, Leonardo seeks escape in fantasies, which he sometimes has trouble differentiating from reality...

About the director

Daniel Burman (b. 1973, Buenos Aires) first came to the Berlinale with a story of love and revenge: A Chrysanthemum Burst in Cinco esquinas (Crisantemo estalla en cinco esquinas, 1998). With Waiting for the Messiah (Esperando al Mesías, 2000), the director delved into the theme of identity in a story of a young Jew groping his way through the hostile atmosphere of society. Of Polish-Jewish ancestry, the director offers a portrait of his Buenos Aires community in the documentary Seven Days in Once. A successful love story followed: Every Stewardess Goes to Heaven (Todas las azafatas van al cielo, 2002). Then he returned to the theme of identity in Lost Embrace (El abrazo partido, 2003), the story of a teenager suffering from his father’s absence. The film took two Silver Berlin Bears. At the 2006 Karlovy Vary festival, Burman’s Family Law (Derecho de família, 2006) was screened in the Horizons section.

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Daniel Burman
Screenplay: Daniel Burman
Dir. of Photography: Hugo Colace
Music: Nico Cota, Santiago Rio
Editor: Alejandro Brodersohn
Producer: Diego Dubcovsky, Daniel Burman
Production: BD Cine
Cast: Oscar Martinez, Cecilia Roth, Arturo Goetz, Inés Efron, Jean Pierre Noher, Ron Richter, Carlos Bermejo, Eugenia Capizzano


Stefanie Zeitler



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