A Family Submerged

Familia sumergida

A Family Submerged

María Alché

AR / BR / DE / NO
Feature Film

The life of mother-of-three Marcela (Mercedes Morán) changes dramatically when her sister Rina suddenly dies. While clearing out Rina’s apartment, she finds old photos and letters that bring back memories. Her everyday life suddenly seems dislocated and alien and she begins to withdraw from her family. She starts to communicate with ghosts from the past. Long-dead relatives, aunts and uncles, appear in Marcela’s living room. In her grief, the boundaries between past and present, dream and reality disappear. Nacho, a friend of her daughter who helps clear out the apartment, becomes a companion, someone she can relax with and open up to.

María Alché’s debut film celebrated its world première at the 2018 Cineasti del presente competition in Locarno. Previously an actress, Alché succeeded in creating an authentic family portrait thanks to intensive rehearsals in which the ensemble played through the details of every scene – a portrait reminiscent of the films of well-known Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel (La Ciénaga). Alché played the main part in Martel’s La niña santa and drew on Martel’s support for her debut. Also outstanding is the camera work of Hélène Louvart who has worked with Claire Denis, Agnès Varda and Alice Rohrwacher (Lucky as Lazzaro), among others. By filtering light through curtains, she creates a mysterious space for encounters with the spirits of the past and thus captures the state of suspension in which Marcela finds herself. (SH)

Film Series Kaleidoscorpse

Awards for ›A Family Submerged‹
Premio Horizontes Latinos – Sam Sebastián 2018

Director / Script

María Alché


Hélène Louvart


Julia Huberman


Mercedes Morán, Marcelo Subiotto, Esteban Bigliardi, Diego Velázquez, Laila Maltz


Pasto Cine, Pandora Film Produktion, Bubbles Project, 4 ½ Fiksjon


Cine Global

María Alché

Born in Buenos Aires in 1983, María Alché became interested in photography at an early age. Her father had his own photo laboratory at home where she was able to experiment with her own work. Later she studied directing at the Escuela Nacional de Experimentación y Realización Cinematográfica (ENERC) and worked as an actress in theatre and in film, playing the leading role in Lucrecia Martel’s La niña santa (2004). She has directed several short films, including Noelia (2012) and Gulliver (2015). Familia sumergida is her first feature film.

Films by María Alché
Gulliver 2015 | Noelia 2012 |  ¿Quién se metió con Mayra? 2008