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Mataharis

Director: Iciar Bollain

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


With Take My Eyes, Spanish director Iciar Bollain took a powerful look at domestic violence. With her new film Mataharis she goes one better, using the little-explored world of female private detectives to look at themes of spying and betrayal and the dilemma of scruples versus ambition. Mataharis tells the story of three women who work in the same Madrid private eye agency. Ambitious Ines (Maria Vazquez) gets a top job spying on union agitators, but falls for the handsome Diego Martin. She eventually quits rather than selling out on her principles. Eva (Najwa Nimri) uses her professional skills to discover her husband has a secret son, which threatens to split the family but finally brings them closer. Carmen (Nuria Gonzalez) is trapped in a dead-end marriage, but meets a client whose own marital problems prompt her to leave her frosty husband. Bollain skilfully interweaves the professional and personal lives of the three main protagonists as she explores gender relations at home and in the workplace.

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