Films & Schedules

  • Empty Nest
    El Nido Vacio

  • Daniel Burman

Spanish, Hebrew
91 minutes

Production Company:
Burman Dubcovsky Cine Production/Wanda Vision/ Paradis Films/Classic
Executive Producer:
Sebastián Ponce, José María Morales
Diego Dubcovsky, Daniel Burman
Daniel Burman
Production Designer:
Aili Chen
Hugo Colace
Alejandro Brodersohn
Juan Ferro
Nico Cota, Santiago Rios
Principal Cast: Oscar Martínez, Cecilia Roth, Arturo Goetz, Inés Efron, Eugenia Capizzano

International Sales Agent:
Bavaria Film International

Thursday September 1106:00PM VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN) Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Friday September 1209:15AM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 1 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Marriage is hard work. It involves commitment, constant negotiation and putting up with your spouse's friends. Daniel Burman's superbly imaginative and entertaining Empty Nest is a comedic look at the problems inherent in married life and the difficulties associated with keeping a long-term relationship new and exciting. At once hilarious and nostalgic, Burman's film ponders reality itself while offering a profound consideration of memories and how they are created.

Burman invites the viewer into the quasisurrealist world of playwright Leonardo (played with Woody Allen-like guile by Oscar Martínez) and his wife Martha (wonderfully performed by All About My Mother's Cecilia Roth). The opening scene finds them at a dinner party with Martha's friends, where Leonardo is visibly bored and uncomfortable with any discussion of his work. Martha finally speaks for him, stating that Leo does not believe in the idea of talent in the artist; instead, he considers himself a craftsman honing his technique. He is especially glib when invited to see one of their friends' daughter's plays. “I've seen it,” he snaps, and from Martha's expression, the audience knows that this is not true.

The masterfully written script naturally interweaves plot twists, and Empty Nest is a testament to Burman's maturity as a director. The narrative sustains a sense of gravity throughout, but manages to treat the difficult topic of infidelity with delicacy and a dose of playfulness. This mischievous undertone is evident as the film traces Leonardo's obsession with freezing croissants, concocts a perfectly choreographed dance routine to help him chase a girl and pairs him with a perfect sidekick to get him through some rough patches.

Moving from the hectic streets of Buenos Aires to the stunning and peaceful calm of the Dead Sea, Empty Nest is laugh-out-loud funny even while its nostalgic scenes bring tears to the eye. Whether portraying marital tensions or bliss, Burman's brilliantly captured moments are always tinged with humour.

Diana Sanchez

Daniel Burman was born in Buenos Aires and is one of the central figures in the New Argentine Cinema. He began his career as a filmmaker with the documentary ¿En que estación estamos? (93). His filmography includes A Chrysanthemum Burst in Cincoesquinas (98), Waiting for the Messiah (00), Every Stewardess Goes to Heaven (02), Lost Embrace (04), 18-j (04), Family Law (06) and Empty Nest (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award