A Family Submerged (María Alché, 2018)

Mercedes Morán in A Family Submerged

In Brief

Apparently, talent is also contagious because the first film by María Alché, who starred in the leading role of Lucrecia Martel’s The Holy Girl, owes its main success to all of Martel’s filmography. Even though they have similar styles, Alché’s A Family Submerged feels more like a thank you letter than a tribute or even a rip-off. But not only they share the same sensitivity, they share the same star—Mercedes Morán, who worked with Alché in The Holy Girl as well (because everything is connected in this world) plays a depressed middle-aged woman who, while mourning the death of her sister, starts a relationship with a younger man and has visits from ghosts of dead relatives. Because why not.

Even if the supernatural elements don’t always work, A Family Submerged does offer a different approach to the midlife-crisis genre, thanks to María Alché, who effectively uses disorientating sounds and images to heighten the main character’s melancholy and state of confusion. Alché shows admirable confidence behind the camera and makes A Family Submerged one of the most promising debuts in recent years.


A Family Submerged

Original Title: Familia Sumergida

Directed by María Alché | 2018 | Argentina

Main cast: Mercedes Morán, Esteban Bigliardi, Marcelo Subiotto, Ia Arteta, Laila Maltz, Federico Sack, Diego Velázquez, Claudia Cantero

Rating: 7.5