The Holy Girl

The Holy Girl

2004
Drama
1h 46m
Martel intimately explores the burgeoning sexuality and religious fervor of two teenage girls, Amalia (Alche) and her best friend, Josefina (Zylberberg). Artfully piecing together a mosaic of nuanced details, fragments of sounds, and small moments, Martel creates a potent and specific portrait of adolescent life. (Lita Stantic Producciones SA)
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The Holy Girl

2004
Drama
1h 46m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 58% from 228 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(228)
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Rated 15 Mar 2008
90
96th
At first I was deeply disappointed by the incomplete, meandering nature of the film, but then I realized the genius of the technique. It is a repressed climax--repressed not by religion but by conventional morality. That sort of repression ensures that each moment and nuance feels more intense than the most emotionally manipulative drama. The tension left me squirming in my seat until the very end. I left the film wondering just where do we draw the line between sexual liberty and perversion.
Rated 15 Nov 2009
81
56th
Powerful drama about desire, repression and morality. Beautifully understated.
Rated 04 Apr 2010
75
86th
interesting coming-of-age story--particularly in the way the film merges vocational calling with awakening sexuality.
Rated 25 Nov 2010
30
78th
"Martel can't exactly be called a horror film director, but I can't think of another filmmaker currently working in the genre with her knack for tension." - Ed Gonzalez
Rated 26 Sep 2012
93
86th
I can't say I understood any of it, but I could feel all of it. Terrific plotting, editing, and the crowded framing of fascinating faces, especially those of Mercedes Moràn and Mónica Villa.
Rated 18 Jan 2013
90
90th
A tale of sexual awakening. Of a child's eyes misinterpreting a threat as a sign from God. Of Hitchcockian levels of suspense created so easily with a claustrophobic feel amplifying every glance, an ambiguity suggesting so many possibilities and thus so many things that could happen - does she genuinely feel this is her God-given duty? Or is she doing this because she is attracted to him? Or both? What is he going to do? Is she at danger stalking him?
Rated 08 Apr 2014
68
20th
The style is intriguing, as is some of the subject matter, but I don't find myself interested in the same things Martel is and as such a lot of it feels tedious and repetitive. The way she creates a closed of world from one-dimensional characters also annoys me.
Rated 20 Dec 2017
70
75th
At the center of the film is an improper relationship between a grown man and a young girl, but Martel presents a surprisingly nuanced view of power relations, somewhat reminiscent of Breillat if perhaps not quite as provocative. The patchwork plot is sometimes a little hard to follow, but tantalizingly concise for the most part. A good movie.

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