A painter from the big city goes to a remote canyon to commit suicide. To reach some calmness, he stays at the farmstead of Ascen, an old, religious woman. Although but a few words are spoken, love grows.



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Credited cast:
Alejandro Ferretis ...
The man
Magdalena Flores ...
Yolanda Villa ...
Martín Serrano ...
Juan Luis
Rolando Hernández ...
The judge
Bernabe Pérez ...
The singer
Fernando Benítez ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carlo Reygadas Barquín ...
The hunter


A painter from the big city goes to a remote canyon to commit suicide. To reach some calmness, he stays at the farmstead of Ascen, an old, religious woman. Although but a few words are spoken, love grows.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong sexuality, nudity and language | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

4 April 2003 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Japón  »

Box Office


$250,050 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| | (unrated)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Carlos Reygadas financed the initial shoot of $50,000 himself. See more »


Featured in Ayacatzintla (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

A strange piece of film indeed.
9 March 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I watched this film after reading some interesting reviews about a promising art-house director, stunning landscapes and grit and reality, as harsh as it is seen through the ever widening lens.


All of the above is perfectly fitting. The camera work is sheer brilliance.

The audio on this film is what grabs you from the very start: The sound is used to full effect, from the bird calls in the trees; the nearby water; the drunken Mexican workers: especially watch out for the singing scene, all made so very powerful thorough the medium of sound. In lots of scenes, the audio is carrying the visuals and not the other way around.

I have to say the story is most unusual and as you may already have read, can be quite uncomfortable at times. At one point I actually thought 'I don't need to be watching something like this on my screen..why am I?', as it just got a bit weird for me. I stuck with it though and, there is a message in there. I won't spoil any of the movie for you by going much deeper into it but as one commenter already said, it is about Man and his loneliness. His desperation and also his bad decisions and inability to change: his world and himself.

I can see why there are so many negative remarks here for this.

At first, I came here with the intention of doing something similar but when I started writing about this movie I just watched, I find myself analysing it and it sinks in that there really is a work of art and it shouldn't be condemned, it should be talked about and watched by many!

There are, for sure, some bad areas where they might have done better to edit certain overly long scenes out or perhaps moved the story around a bit but, this movie isn't about the story, not really. It is about the characters, more than that: it is about Character itself. Even the characters are just a vehicle for the main theme.

I urge you to watch this with an open mind.

10 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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