The Headless Woman

A bourgeois woman (Maria Onetto) is driving alone on a dirt road, becomes distracted, and runs over something. In the days following this jarring incident, she is dazed and emotionally disconnected from the people and events in her life. She becomes obsessed with the possibility that she may have killed someone. The police confirm that there were no accidents reported in the area and everything returns to normal until a gruesome discovery is made. Lucrecia Martel’s third feature examines the intricacies of class status and the role of women in a male-dominated society. [Synopsis courtesy of Strand Releasing]

History of Fear

A police helicopter circles over a gated community on the outskirts of a large city. Something must have happened. The very first shot of this directorial debut conveys the paranoia which shrouds this film about the fears of an increasingly detached social class. Even a hole in the fence represents a life-threatening event. The other side of their self-made barrier marks the beginning of a social netherworld where they are convinced dubious and unpredictable creatures with designs on their wealth are lurking. The camera takes a step back to capture but also to question in grotesque and absurd tableaux this diffuse anxiety and almost primeval fear. When Argentina was rocked by a severe economic crisis several years ago, politicians exploited people’s fears in order to foster a general feeling of insecurity. In his ironic portrait of a constantly fragmenting society, Benjamin Naishtat ponders this development. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]