Empty Nest: Argentinean Daniel (Lost Embrace) Burman Directs Cecilia Roth

In Empty Nest, Argentine director and writer Daniel Burman (Lost Embrace, Silver Berlin Bear Winner), one of Latin America’s best known filmmakers, takes a humorous and loving look at a fussy, self-absorbed, but lovable artist and his enterprising, down-to-earth wife.

The twisted story and great acting, by Almodovar’s Cecilia Roth (from “Todo Sobre Me Madre”) helped the film achieve a popular theatrical release in Argentina, and it is now opening in select cities in the U.S.

When their last child leaves home, a middle-aged couple suddenly finds itself alone for the first time in years. While the husband tackles the empty-nest syndrome with vivid fantasies, his wife throws herself into a whirlwind of activities.

Cultured, prosperous, blessed with three children and many friends, Leonardo and Martha are a truly enviable example of the species “married couple.” Leonardo is an author of considerable repute; Martha, a hyperactive housewife with academic interests. Leonardo sits back and observes; Martha forges ahead and acts. An enviable couple?

They both begin to question their happiness when Julia, their youngest, marries and leaves Buenos Aires. The house is empty, the children scattered all over the world. For Leonardo and Martha, there are no more excuses for not addressing all those little grievances and annoyances that have piled up over the years. Martha seeks release by going back to the university and surrounding herself with people. Leonardo takes refuge in fantasies that become so real that he can´t distinguish them from reality.

Director Burman has said that his inspiration for the movie began with the image of a man and a woman floating on water, visuals that suggested to him both tranquility and death. “Empty Nest” started with a series of sights and ideas about the space that kids occupy and then later leave empty: “The film has a lot to do with accepting one’s own decline. I think that in order to deal with this, our only escape lies in the creation of a fantasy world.