Empty Nest

In a witty and sophisticated farce, middle-aged playwright Leonardo Vindel (the marvelous Oscar Martínez) descends into a world where fantasy and reality interlace seamlessly. Reality would be his advancing age, his midriff bulge, the departure of his grown-up children, and the unraveling of his marriage to the still-gorgeous and sexy Martha (Pedro Almodóvar star Cecilia Roth). Fantasy is his May-December affair with a beautiful young dental assistant, and his intimate conversations with a secret buddy who not only listens sympathetically to his kvetching but follows him to the shores of the Dead Sea to visit his daughter and machine-gun-toting Israeli son-in-law. This is a confrontation with a reality far different from his comfortable life back home. One of Argentina’s leading directors, Daniel Burman takes a new approach to the intertwined issues of aging and identity following his earlier trilogy of films on Jewish life in Buenos Aires, Waiting for the Messiah (SFJFF 2001), Lost Embrace, and Family Law. In Empty Nest he plays with film’s ability to alter time and reveal the unconscious. His characters struggle to deny the passage of time, but their rich inner lives bring them to the edge of understanding and acceptance. Will they learn in time?
Daniel Burman was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on August 29, 1973. In 1993, his short documetary "En Que Estacion Estamos…?" (In Which Station Are We…?) received UNESCO's Honorable Mention Award. In 1994 his script "Ninos Envueltos" was given an award at the Annual Short Subject Film Contest of the Argentine Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute (INCAA) and was filmed during the course of that year. The short was presented in 1995 as part of a feature film in episodes titled "Historias Breves" (Short Stories), which premiered at a film exhibition in the city of Buenos Aires with excellent public and critical acclaim. In 1995, his film "Un Crisantemo Estalla En Cincoesquinas" was presented in numerous international festivals: Sundance Film Festival, Berlinale (Official Selection), San Sebastian, La Habana, Nantes, Russian International Film Festival (FIPRESCI Award) and Le Festival des Films de Monde in Montreal. In 1997 he produced "Plaza de Almas" by Fernando Diaz, multiawarded at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival (Best Latin American Film, Audience Award), OCIC, and Best Film at the Chicago Film Festival. In 1998, Burman produced Mercedes Guevara's "Rio Escondido". In 1999 he was Executive Producer of the film "Garage Olimpo", a French-Italian-Argentine production directed by Marco Bechis, which was invited to Cannes '99 and was a winner of more than 20 international awards. In 2000 he directed "Esperando Al Mesias" (Waiting for the Messiah), his second feature film, which was awarded a special acting prize for Enrique Pineyro at the Novo Cine Festival in Buenos Aires.
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