The Swimming Pool

Not available for screening anymore

    The Swimming Pool

    La Piscina

    Directed by

    Cuba, Venezuela


    66 min

    • Spanish


    In other films the swimming pool is often the site for elegant and hedonistic romps and a bit of la dolce vita. In La Piscina it's a place of humble charm. A summer's day breaks on the coast and young swimming instructor Esteban, an introverted ex-professional swimmer, waits for his pupils to arrive. The four teenagers have one thing in common: their disabilities have made outsiders of them all. One-legged Diana is flirty and possessive; Dany is overweight and has Down's syndrome; weak-willed Rodrigo has a walking disability; and permanently grumpy Oscar flatly refuses to speak. One tender, carefree day of the holidays runs its course. In between their sojourn at the pool the group snacks together and enjoys a siesta. Slowly, however, conflict within the group begins to make itself apparent until the idyllic tropical scene is filled with animosity, rivalries, jibes, aggression, power games and an unspoken mutual longing for love. La Piscina paints this group portrait in delicate pastel colours, laconically, with deliberate and hypnotic pacing.


    • Lexus Ibero-American Opera Prima Competiton Award - Miami FF
    • CCAS Award, Prix Découverte de la Critique Française - CinéLatino


    Raúl Capote
    Mónica Molinet
    Felipe García
    Carlos Javier Martínez
    Marcos Costa
    Abel Arcos
    Raúl Rodríguez


    The main strength of the film is its capacity to turn an ordinary looking and decaying swimming pool, where no real significant action seems to take place, into a space for escapism of whatever troubles and difficulties the characters may have in the real world. It is simple but never simplistic, and it functions quite beautifully.

    Fernando Vasquez, Nisimazine

    With its unsentimental, no-big-deal attitude to its disabled characters, The Swimming Pool achieves an impressive register of intimacy.

    Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily

    Carlos  Machado Quintela

    Carlos Machado Quintela


    I believe that a film actually begins when the credits roll. The moment you hear a voice in your head saying: 'Hey, what was that all about?'

    Carlos Machado Quintela (Cuba, 1984) graduated with a degree in Mass Media from the Instituto Superior de Arte, Havana. He then studied Screenwriting at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión in San Antonio de los Baños and wrote and directed several award-winning short films. THE SWIMMING POOL is his first feature film as a director, followed by THE PROJECT OF THE CENTURY, which won the Hivos Tiger Award at IFF Rotterdam.

    Selected Filmography