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Based on the 1956 novel by Antonio Di Benedetto about Don Diego de Zama, a Spanish officer of the seventeenth century settled in Asunción, who awaits his transfer to Buenos Aires.

Zama (Daniel Giménez Cacho) waits for a letter from the King granting him a transfer from the Paraguayan town in which he is stagnating, to a better place. He must ensure that nothing overshadows his transfer, so is forced to accept submissively every task entrusted to him by successive Governors who come and go as he stays behind. The years go by and the letter from the King never arrives. When Zama notices everything is lost, he joins a party of soldiers that go after a dangerous bandit. This is a strange, sensual wonder of a film, with a top-note of menace and a malarial air. (Subtitles)