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The Delay (La Demora)    cover photo

The Delay (La Demora) 2012


Distributed by Distributed by Pragda, 302 Bedford Ave., #136, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Produced by Produced by Christian Valdelievre, Sandino Saravia Vinay, Rodrigo Pla
Directed by Directed by Rodrigo Pla
DVD, color, 88 min.

College - General Adult
Japan, Popular Culture, Music Trade, Singers

Date Entered: 05/23/2016

ALA Notable:
Reviewed by: Reviewed by Sandra Collins, Byzantine Catholic Seminary Library, Pittsburgh, PA

The careworn, drawn face of Maria, a single mother raising three school-age children in a cramped, dingy apartment with her increasingly confused elderly father, communicates every element of this small but elegant film. She sews pockets for jeans at home, paid in miserly increments by the piece, in order to stay and watch her father, Agustin, who has a habit of getting lost. Eventually, the incredible financial as well as emotional strains of these familial burdens brings Maria to a decision begotten of desperation: she commands him to stay on a bench while she leaves to purchase water. When she fails to return Agustin, Horton-like, stays at his post while caring strangers provide for his most basic needs as dark and cold descends. Meanwhile, Maria must live with the consequences of abandoning her father, only to find that life without him is infinitely darker than life with him.

Set in Montevideo, this unsparing look at the modern realities of getting old in a world without a social safety net has global application. The touch of his daughter’s hands upon the elderly father is utilitarian at best—her situation testifies to the fact that there is no time for sentimentality. Yet, the inherent kindness of strangers in response to his apparent lostness provides the right counterweight to the daughter’s eventual realization of his place in her life.

Recommended for Latin American area studies as well as programs interested in the intersection of aging and urban life.


  • Best Direction, Ariel Awards Mexico, 2013
  • Forum Award, Berlin International Film Festival, 2012
  • Special Jury Prize, Hamptons International Film Festival
  • Best Uruguayan Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Photography, Best Art Direction, Best Editing, Uruguayan Film Critics Association, 2012