Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Mexico/France/The Netherlands/Germany, 2007. Mantarraya Producciones, No Dream Cinema, Bac Films, ARTE, Arte France Cinema, Estudios Churubusco Azteca S.A., Fondo para la Producción Cinematográfica de Calidad, Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía, Motel Films, Nederlands Fonds voor de Film, Ticoman, World Cinema Fund. Screenplay by Carlos Reygadas. Cinematography by Alexis Zabe. Produced by Carlos Reygadas, Jaime Romandia. Production Design by Nohemi Gonzalez. Film Editing by Natalia Lopez. Cannes Film Festival 2007. Independent Spirit Awards 2008. Toronto International Film Festival 2007.
Slow, meditative film that examines the lives of Mennonites living in a ranch community in Mexico. The father of a farming family finds his soul torn in multiple directions because he cannot decide between his love for his wife and the affection he feels for another woman with whom he has begun an affair. Scenes of regular, everyday life are played out against gorgeous vistas as the man prays to God for guidance, while the natural world around him gives off a glorious beauty that makes every frame of this film radiate. It’s got a fascinating ending that fans of Dreyer will go crazy for, but the downside is how disaffecting it is: Carlos Reygadas is an incredibly bold filmmaker who has taken his camera into a world that the cinema knows very little of, but his characters are hardly more than types and never fully work their way into our hearts.