Screened as part of NZIFF 2017

The Desert Bride 2017

La novia del desierto

Directed by Cecilia Atán, Valeria Pivato World

Paulina García (Gloria) plays an uprooted woman who stumbles into a new-found freedom with help from Claudio Rissi’s friendly stranger in this delicate and charming Argentinean debut feature.

Argentina In Spanish with English subtitles
78 minutes CinemaScope / DCP



Eva Lauría
Alejo Crisóstomo


Sergio Armstrong


Andrea Chignoli

Production designer

Mariela Rípodas

Costume designers

Beatriz Di Benedetto
Jam Monti


Leo Sujatovich


Paulina García (Teresa)
Claudio Rissi (Gringo)


Cannes (Un Certain Regard) 2017


In this delicately observed Argentinian road movie, Gloria’s Paulina García, in another lovely, nuanced performance, is Teresa, a rather timid maid. She has worked for the same family for years, but now they can no longer afford to employ her and have found her a job with their in-laws, who live miles away. En route, Teresa’s small bag packed with all her possessions is left in the campervan of Gringo (Claudio Rissi), an itinerant salesman, and then goes missing. Teresa and the salesman spend the day together driving across the desert in search of the bag and getting to know each other. Gringo is a warm and gentle fellow, rootless and free-spirited, and the novelty allows Teresa, who has never travelled before, to bloom. — SR

“In The Desert Bride, the gently seductive first feature from Cecilia Atán and Valeria Pivato, García plays a mousy type who has never known much fulfillment, until an interlude in the rugged Argentinean hinterland liberates the spirit trapped within her... While the marvelous García is the heart of the movie, her unshowy performance strikes an exquisite balance with the more gregarious manner of Claudio Rissi in what’s largely a two-hander....

The wispy story could almost be reduced to an anecdote. Yet in the leisurely flow of Andrea Chignoli’s edit, it’s imbued with gorgeous, undulating rhythms that pull you in to the point where the recovery of Teresa’s bag becomes secondary to the emergence of a woman capable of being an active participant in life, rather than hiding in the margins.” — David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter