For Reel

The Daughter (2016)
October 22, 2016, 5:03 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Luis Sampieri
3 Stars
the-daughterAs the Amado family enjoys a meal at their decaying country estate, the patriarch’s caregiver goes into labor and gives birth to a baby girl. The youngest sibling interrupts the newborn’s cries by declaring, “What a bitch!” The Daughter is the third feature film by director Luis Sampieri, and it uses the family’s ignorance of the maid’s pregnancy as a means of articulating the Amado clan’s lack of perspective—the irony being that as their fortunes dwindle, the divide between them and their help grows smaller (and yet here, empathy is a trait largely tied with the older generation and the working class). Sampieri foregrounds the pointless bickering of the family while the maid’s drama visually reaches its tragic conclusion in bitter silence. The lush Argentian countryside is photographed beautifully in long takes, and the immediate aftermath of the childbirth is positively Buñuelian in the way it interrupts social niceties for a shocking display of human ugliness.

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