The film tells the story of the Boteros, a middle-class Mexican family struggling against poverty after their father's death. Ignacia (Egurrola) is the Boteros mother, a desperate woman who...
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Family honor, greed, machismo, homophobia, and the dreams of whores collide in a Mexican town. Rich, elderly Don Alejo is poised to sell the town for a profit, needing only to buy a ... See full summary »
The story of a disciplined and sexually driven man who keeps his family isolated in his home for years to protect them from the "evil nature" of human beings while inventing (with his wife)... See full summary »
Based on the Nobel Prize Winner's novel, the Egyptian Naguib Mahfouz. The story, translated from El Cairo to Mexico City's downtown, narrates the life of the members of the neighbourhood ... See full summary »
Ernesto Gómez Cruz,
A Claustrophobic experience which involves a Mexican middle class family into the atrocities made by wild and heartless army forces whose main objective seems to be students who do not permit the 1968's Olimpic games' to develop normally.
A very poor and handicaped man, lives in a small town in Mexico with his mother. He works announcing things along the town ("The priest lost his cow, if someone sees it ..."). He is very ... See full summary »
Matea is an orphan who assists the priest, Father Feliciano, in his parish. The village doctor tries to seduce her, but fails and proceeds to defame her into believing that Matea maintains relations with the priest.
Two kids take a book from a trash can. They begin to read the story of a poor neighborhood in Mexico City. Carpenter Pepe "El Toro" (Infante) lives with his daughter Chachita (Munoz) and ... See full summary »
Evita Muñoz 'Chachita',
In the early morning hours, two elderly whores go back to their hovels. They are not tired from working. They are tired of not doing do. One has problems at home with her teenage daughter ... See full summary »
This is the story of three brothers (a priest, a soldier and an outlaw) that are raised separately by their godfathers once their mother dies. They cross their paths again when the soldier ... See full summary »
Blanca Estela Pavón,
María Eugenia Llamas
The film tells the story of the Boteros, a middle-class Mexican family struggling against poverty after their father's death. Ignacia (Egurrola) is the Boteros mother, a desperate woman who chooses to sacrifice the destiny of her three older children, in order to protect Gabriel (Laguardia) the youngest one. She believes Gabriel will climb the social structure and bring back the lost fortune to the family. But destiny has other plans for the Boteros and tragedy will overcome eventually. Based on the novel of Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz. Written by
Maximiliano Maza <email@example.com>
One can admire Arturo Ripstein's and wife Paz Alicia Garciadiego's screen adaptation of Naguib Mahfouz' novel for its capacity to maintain one's attention for three hours, but there are elements that question its credibility and make the translation to México too broad, schematic and artificial. Most of the time the film is an exercise in tremendism that in the end distances one from the story. Surely an Egyptian story can be adapted to Mexico. This endeavor was made even better by Vicente Leñero a year later in Jorge Fons' "El Callejón de los Milagros". In Leñero's adaptation one felt a true Mexican ambiance, and the structure of the script was richer and more complex; in Garciadiego's case Mexico city is only the sordid décor for a story that is too centered in its characters' psychology to describe the decline of a middle class family into poverty. Even in the psychological realm, the film sometimes delves into suggestions that add to nothing more than a tease. On the other hand, some dialogues must look "poetic" on paper, but they just sound plain silly when spoken as in the scene where an unwed mother breaks up with a young suitor. Dealing with Garciadiego's dialogues, some actors are able to turn naturalistic performances (Bruno Bichir, the always excellent Blanca Guerra, and Julieta Egurrola and Lucía Muñoz as mother and daughter) but in leading actor Ernesto Laguardia's delivery they sound as lines from a bad soap opera. In some ways "Principio y fin" reminded me of "Rocco e i suoi fratelli", Luchino Visconti's tragic tale of the deterioration of a poor Sicilian family. But Visconti also made it clear that he was making a melodrama. Ripstein narrates the first two hours of the story in a conventional "zero degree" style, with a few arty moments for good measure (the meeting of brothers Bichir and Laguardia in a barber shop, that is too homoerotic to ring true). Then all of a sudden the story turns into a weird tragedy which Ripstein shots with a wild hand-held camera, adds foreign drums to the soundtrack, and the film abruptly ends. There is no doubt that Ripstein and Garciadiego are always interesting, and they have made very good films. "El imperio de la fortuna" was an attractive version of Juan Rulfo's "El gallo de oro" and their version of the "Honeymoon Killers" in "Profundo carmesí" has been universally acclaimed. Though not a bad film, "Principio y fin" belongs to the category of their excesses, as the awful "La reina de la noche" or their ill-advised remake of "La mujer del puerto".
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