A Family Submerged

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    A Family Submerged

    Familia Sumergida

    Directed by

    Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Norway


    91 min

    • Spanish


    It’s summertime in Buenos Aires, and Marcela’s sister has suddenly passed away. As Marcela grieves, she must also face the painful process of purging her sister’s apartment of possessions, photographs, and family heirlooms. When Nacho, a young friend of her daughter’s, offers to help her, she finds unexpected comfort. Their relationship deepens into something more romantic as they go on road trips and adventures together. During these difficult and confusing days, Marcela’s past and present become intertwined and she begins to question her sense of self, as the imminence of everyday life pushes in.


    • Horizontes Award - San Sebastián FF



    Mercedes Moran
    Esteban Bigliardi
    Marcelo Subiotto
    Laila Maltz
    Federico Sack
    Ia Arteta
    Claudia Cantero
    Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos
    María Alché
    Helene Louvart
    Livia Serpa
    Luciano Azzigotti

    Director's Statement

    They say we are born into other people’s words, lines, plans, and that when we leave this world, we will remain in the words that will come after us. This film is a query into the continuous cycle in which we exist, we are complemented, and we become something else. When the lead, Marcela, loses her sister, a part of her tangible world is lost as well: the talks they used to have, their similar way of arranging objects at home, the shared anecdotes, the grimaces, the emotions. She is left with the void of now becoming the oldest member in her family. She experiences the beginning of a transformation. In a privileged state of quiet reflection, she is forced to acknowledge her own finiteness, which enables her to make more authentic choices. The film embarks on Marcela’s personal journey, as she encounters both a lack of meaning as well as an immediate urge to retrieve it in her every step. There is a transition between two spaces: the more familiar and everyday-related one, embodied by the typical chores and tasks involved with taking care of a family and working out problems alongside others, and the more vertiginous, cyclical, eternal one, related to questioning the meaning of things. This film comes from my urge to reflect upon the way we deal with grief, what gets transformed within us, how we spend our time, and about the vividness of living riskily.The narrative form is based on the unusual, the transitory, the continuation of situations that lead to unexpected consequences, where objects, dialogues, and spaces are linked as they push the group of people forward, like they were atoms drawn together and pulled apart. Each culture has to find a narrative form that matches its idiosyncrasy, and I believe that the nature of our national identity is related to some sort of transitory feeling, in which things can change any time. The characters in the film are conscious that they are here in transit, not really attached to anything and living in an inadequate world they constantly try to fit in, where old plans are cancelled as new ones emerge. I’m interested in provoking that sense of vertigo upon reality, in which the elements presented as essential become less meaningful to make way for new conflicts that were immersed but have started to surface surreptitiously.



    "Enigmatic, dream-like (...) Moran commands our attention and sympathy."

    The Hollywood Reporter

    "Masterfully orchestrated (...) an ethereal and evocative offering with profound and lasting effect."

    Screen Anarchy

    "Woozy, beguiling, tactile, A Family Submerged is a sumptuous disquieting film from Maria Alche."

    The Upcoming

    María Alché

    María Alché


    María Alché is an Argentinian film director, actress, and photographer.She studied Philosophy at Buenos Aires University (UBA), and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree at ENERC (Institute of Film and Audio Visual Experimentation). She has starred in numerous art-house films, has directed several short films, like Gulliver, Noelia, Winter3025, among others, and produced her own photographic work, Fakes, for which she received awards worldwide. Developing her own language and navigating through specific topics such as family, emotional bonds, time, space, and suspense, her film work went into competition in various film festivals around the world, such as Locarno, San Sebastián, New Directors, New Films (NY) Rotterdam ZINEBI, Fribourg Film Festival, Bafici, Toulouse Film Festival, La Havana Film Festival, Milano, receiving awards worldwide. A retrospective of her work also took place in Valdivia Film Festival. A FAMILY SUBMERGED is her directorial debut, which world-premiered at Locarno Festival, and has already participated in TyPA Lab, 3 Puertos Cine (Bal, Australab, Cinemart), and Work In Progress San Sebastián.