Seeing the Headless Woman at the Dryden

I headed out to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see La mujer sin cabeza (The Headless Woman). I had carefully read the calendar summary and noted some dangerous phrases: "intriguing and surreal", "whose perfect life may be a dream", "droll, enigmatic fable about bourgeois discombobulation". What I mean is that I was braced for an inaccessible art film — one that I'd have to endure … or worse (and under rare circumstances) leave early.

I talked with Antonella Bonfanti beforehand and was reassured that the movie was interesting. In her introduction to the film, she pointed out that the film requires attention. By creating the scenario of a mystery — wherein the titular woman never knows whether she killed a child in a dramatic accident in her car — I found myself compelled to pay attention. I was constantly looking for clues, and in the process, noted the subtleties of the story. The film calls attention to Argentina's growing rift between rich and poor, forming a de facto caste system. It gets a bit blunt with things, as the lower class is frequently paired with the sound of dogs (although I can't recall many images of dogs), but overall it's an excellent movie.

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