Familia sumergida

Marcela has just lost her sister Rina, it was sudden. Rina’s apartment must now be cleared of her possessions, the plants, furniture and clothing: succulents, dark wood, patterned scarves, a pair of old sunglasses. The curtains are closed and the light is soft and diffuse, like it must be on the floor of the sea, like it is at home, where Marcela lives with her husband and three teenage children. Family life is chaotic, as there are constant interruptions, the broken washing machine, the telephone calls and unexpected guests, the tears that arrive unannounced, the impromptu songs. Maybe that’s why Marcela starts spending time away with her daughter’s friend or taking refuge in her imagination, playing dress-up and talking nonsense with the kids, although most of the strange scenes that play out for her come forth unasked. In the blueish light, it can be hard to tell exactly when and where you are, even when the action moves out of the two apartments, to the hotel room, to the sports hall, to the country. Grief doesn’t flow in one direction, it seeps between spaces, makes channels of its own, it carries you along with it until you’re able to stand, until all the water is gone. (Viennale, James Lattimer)

Festivals & awards

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Argentina 2018
Best Actress, Mercedes Morán
Nomination Best Art Direction, Mariela Rípodas

Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards 2019
Silver Condor, Best First Film (Mejor Ópera Prima)
Best Actress (Mejor Actriz) Mercedes Morán

FICUMAN Festival International de Cine UNAM 2019

Lima Latin American Film Festival 2019
Best Screenplay, Critics Award, Special Mention

Locarno International Film Festival 2018

Montclair Film Festival 2019
Special Jury Prize, Hélène Louvart, Cinematography

San Sebastián International Film Festival 2018
Horizons Award María Alche

Toulouse Latin America Film Festival 2019



Original Title
Familia sumergida
Familia sumergida
Directed by
María Alché
María Alché
Film Editing
Livia Serpa
Luciano Azzigotti
Hélène Louvart
Julia Huberman
Production Design
Mariela RĂ­podas
Pasto Cine, Barbara Francisco
91 min.
Spanisch/d + f
Mercedes Morán, Marcelo Subiotto, Esteban Bigliardi, Diego Velazquez, Laila Maltz

Pro Material

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Press voices

«Beeindruckender Debütfilm der argentinische Filmemacherin Maria Alché über den Schwebezustand einer traumatisierten Seele.» art-tv.ch

«Das surreale, besonnen inszenierte Drama Familia Sumergida zeigt eine Frau bei der Verarbeitung dieses schweren Verlusts. Bedächtig und mit Geduld fängt Alché das vielschichtige Emotionsleben ihrer unbeugsamen, bestimmt auftretenden Protagonistin ein, die von Mercedes Morán präzise und hingebungsvoll dargestellt wird.» Björn Schneider, cineman.ch

«Familia sumergida ist eine wundersame Familiengeschichte, die den banalen Alltag in ein Rätsel verwandelt.» Olga Baruk, Filmbulletin

«Old ladies from another epoch do not come out of a photo album, but emerge directly from the untwisting curtains of her apartment, like a weird and distant bloom that unfolds from the familiar world. That is a brilliant example of what only cinema can do! Familia sumergida becomes a convincing story of taking back one’s own identity as an individual, a story that shows how a personal legacy, even through the absence of a departed person, can work at the deepest level of our spirit.» filmexplorer.ch