Director: Anahi Berneri

argentina • 2007 • subtitled colour • dolby digital stereo 93 mins

An ageing actress’ efforts to prop up her fading career and her weekend sojourn to the countryside provide rising Argentine film-maker Anahi Berneri with much to reflect upon in the subtly conceived Encarnacion. The film is a cogent, almost intuitive study of female self-identity and body perception, and would be inconceivable without star Silvia Perez. The mask of youth is an essential aspect of actress and former glamour puss Encarnacion Levier (Perez), who’s called Erni and maintains the figure of – and dresses like – a twentysomething femme at 48 years old, but whose excessively tanned skin reveals ageing beyond her actual years. This physical complexity is at the heart of the film, as Berneri’s camera trains on Erni’s body and skin, to the degree where the profile of Erni is also essentially wrapped up in Perez herself, who was also once a high-profile performer on Buenos Aires’ commercial theatre row. Perez’s graceful portrayal contains Erni’s several contradictory qualities, from self-absorption to unaffected giving.—Robert Koehler/’Variety’.

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