The Sleepwalkers

(Los sonámbulos)
Paula Hernández | Drama, Fiction

2019 | 107 minutes | Argentina, Uruguay

A chaotic look at the struggles of adolescence and a deliciously observed, tightly focused drama about a family falling apart over a New Year's vacation.  


Following the path of Lucrecia Martel's La Cienega, Paula Hernández places her film in that family reunion subgenre, focusing on the story between mother and daughter. Luisa, her husband Emilio, and their 14-year-old daughter Ana, are spending their New Year holiday visiting Emilio’s mother Meme at her country house, joined by Emilio’s brother and his family. Over the course of what was hoped to be a peaceful, summertime family vacation, multiple tensions – ranging from career worries to troubled adolescence, a possible selling of the house to myriad family problems – will gradually simmer into an explosion. Luisa and Ana in particular will face an awakening in the midst of a silent family crisis.

Featuring a skilled and brilliant Argentinian cast, including Erika Rivas (Wild Tales) and Luis Ziembrowski (One Love), who bring the requisite nuance and humanity to Hernandez’ rich script, The Sleepwalkers is an indelible portrait of a family in crisis, where desire and expectation clash when familial pressures push women to their limits. The film builds to a violent climax, but in its aftermath, we're given the relief of knowing that, when chaos reigns, the parent-child connection at the center of this story holds. (Miami Film Festival)


"[A] deliciously observed, tightly focused drama about a family falling apart over a New Year's vacation. " — Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter

"Hernandez deftly combines a coming-of-age drama with a finely observed portrait of a complex mother-daughter relationship and then wraps it all up in the bigger picture of a family sleepwalking towards disaster. The result is a multi-layered drama vividly brought to life by a well-cast ensemble." — Allan Hunter, Screen Daily

"With a feminine point of view, visual elegance, and performances always on point, The Sleepwalkers walks on a latent tension that never lets go." — Juan Pablo Russo, Escribiendo Cine

"A film as bright as it is personal that demonstrates the virtuosity and skill of a great filmmaker." — Cristina Aparicio, Cuadernos de Cine

"As a forensic examination of the fragile dynamics of family life, The Sleepwalkers is very strong...psychological burdens are explored by Hernández with delicacy, agility and not the slightest self-indulgence." — Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter

"The Sleepwalkers has enough resources and findings to keep audiences awake." — Diego Batlle,

"It's a somewhat chaotic look at the struggles of adolescence." — Matthew St. Clair, The Playlist

Main credits

Hernández, Paula (film director)
Hernández, Paula (screenwriter)
Rivas, Erica (actor)
Marini, Marilù (actor)
D'Elia, Ornella (actor)
Miller, Juan Pablo (film producer)

Other credits

Cinematography, Iván Gierasinchuk; editor, Rosario Suárez; music, Pedro Onetto.

sexual abuse, motherhood, girl, coming of age, adolescence, teen, family relations, spanish, spanish language, latin america, latin american cinema, latin american film, ibero america, latin, latinx, latino, latina,,women, womanhood, gender, girl, girlhood, mother, motherhood, female, cis woman, cis female, trans woman, trans female, women’s rights, women’s issues, lady, ladies, gentlewoman, madame, miss, missus, mrs., dame, damsel, ingenue, lass, maid, maiden, belle, gal, ladyfriend, girlfriend, dear, darling, widow, matron, dowager, gender, gender equality, gender pay gap, women’s liberation, women’s rights,child, children, childhood, kid, girl, girlhood, boy, boyhood, teen, teenager, puberty, adolescence, adolescent, coming-of-age, minor, kiddo, kids, juvenile, stripling, moppet, tyke, tween, tot, toddler, sonny, girlie, underaged, dependent, youngster, infancy, babyhood, girlhood, boyhood, friendships, juvenescence, juvenility, springtime, early life,family, kin, fellowship, household, immediate family, extended family, multigenerational family, multigenerational household, kinfolk, family tree, genealogy, nuclear family, modern family, family tree,criminal justice, crime, judiciary, police reform, corrections, criminal law, judicial system, justice department, prosecution, judgement, criminal law, courts and corrections, corrections institutes,mental illness, therapy, trauma, behavioral health, mental disability, psychology, psychiatry, social work, wellbeing, counselor, diagnosis, mentally disabled, mental incapacitation, mentally defective, mental handicap, mental defective, psychotic break, psychosis, psychoses, mentally sound, questionable mental health,oscar® contenders, oscar® awards, oscar® nominees, oscar® nominee, oscar contenders, oscar® consideration, oscar awards, oscar nominees, oscar nominee, oscars, oscar consideration, oscar® finalist, academy awards, academy award, academy award nominee, academy award nominees, academy award consideration,sociology, anthropology, psychology, sociological, sociological perspectives, conflict theory, human conflicts, sociological thinking,conflict perspective, topics in sociology, sociology topics, sociology studies, social studies, people and cultures, human relations, human relationships, cultural studies, culture studies ,body image, appearance, body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, body acceptance, acceptance, body dysmorphic disorder, body dysmorphia, negative body image, distorted body image, confidence, self-esteem, self acceptance, fat acceptance, body acceptance, positive body image, negative body image, weight, fat, overweight, obesity; "The Sleepwalkers"; Pragda Films
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Academy Awards® - Argentina's submission for Best International Feature Film
Havana Film Festival - Best Film Best Script Best Actress
Fine Arts Film Festival
Dominican Rep. & Puerto Rico - Best Director, Best Actress
Alturas International Film Festival - Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress
Toronto International Film Festival
San Sebastián Film Festival

DIRECTOR: Paula Hernández

NATIONALITY: Argentina, Uruguay

YEAR: 2019

GENRE: Drama, Fiction


COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: College, Adults



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