Sirwiñakuy (2010) Poster


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A Quietly Decadent Affair
dlogue44425 March 2013
Sirwinakuy is a quiet film--languid and intimate. The story of the relationship between an older man and a younger woman, it takes the viewer into the dreamlike nature of their union, where no one else exists and the outside world is kept at bay. This is the fantasy that happens whenever two people fall in love, but this is no ordinary love. In fact, for the length of the movie the viewers, as well as the main characters, are not certain whether this is love at all. It begins like a fairy tale; a chance encounter in a cafe leads to an immediate, unspoken attraction and both the young woman and the man are fearless enough to follow impulse without questions. It's the sort of improbable situation that happens in the lives of those courageous enough to trust and embrace the unknown. As their unorthodox relationship develops, it is apparent that there are levels to this film and to its characters that are implied and then left for the viewer to ponder. As we are told very little about the respective lives of this couple before their meeting, we can only wonder about the family histories that lead these two to find each other. Clearly, he is a father figure to her; just as clearly, he feels fatherly to her as well. She is undisciplined, drifting and directionless. He is precise, cultured, and lonely, and searching in his own way. A symbiotic emotional dynamic draws them further toward one another. While this film is touted as a vehicle for S&M eroticism, I find it to be quite romantic in actuality. As in the Story of O, our heroine is always free to choose whether she remains in her situation. The fact that she remains provokes one to think more deeply on what truly lies in the nature of the relationship between the sexes, as human needs and desires pay little heed to what society deems appropriate. The performances by the beautiful Veronica Pantoux and the quietly charismatic Jac Avila are subtle and patient. Likewise, director Hesketh allows the silences and the space needed to convey the intimacy here by pacing her scenes and her editing with a patience all too absent from modern films. While the salacious elements of nudity and S&M suggest an exploitation movie, Hesketh and her actors infuse their work with a finesse and a thoughtfulness that make it more akin to what some would call an "art film". See it with that special someone, then have a fun evening pursuing the ideas raised intellectually, if not visually!
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Is Amy Hesketh the next Hitchcock? Truffaut? Bigelow? No! Better than that!
cd7-523-8935728 November 2012
Amy Hesketh and Alfred Hitchcock have the same initials. Coincidence? Yes, of course, and yet… The great French Director, François Truffaut, was a great admirer of Hitchcock, and there is a bit of Truffaut in Hesketh's work as well, but… her Sirwiñakuy is a beautiful film that neither Hitchcock nor Truffaut (nor even Kathryn Bigelow) could have made, because it is pure Hesketh. I kept asking myself as I watched it, how could this be her first film as a director? It seemed to be the work of a seasoned veteran. It took mundane scenes that should have bored me and somehow made me want to watch and find out where it was going next, because it was obviously, from the first, oddly turned, just enough, to keep me off balance and unsure of what was going to happen next. A car ride begins to remind me, for no obvious reason, of Jonathan Harker's ride to Castle Dracula, leaving a known world for the possibly dangerous unknown. A walk up a simple staircase turns into, without any obvious visual signals or threatening musical hints, the walk up the determinedly sinister stairs in the Psycho house where Norman Bates might wait at the top… or is Norman the man walking up the stairs, or even the woman with him? Or none of the above? See what I mean? It kept me guessing, and in the end, all of the trite stereotypes I'd imagined were blown away by what really happened. So, while I don't want to give anything specific away by describing particulars, I will say that if you like suspense mixed with unusual, non-sentimental romance, featuring expert performances by Jac Avila and Veronica Paintoux (and Chuqui the Cat), and a plot that should keep you guessing up to the very last moment, give Amy Hesketh's Sirwiñakuy a look, and then follow it with Hesketh's subsequent work. I can guarantee with almost 100 percent certainty that she will not ever pull her punches on you, won't leave you feeling cheated. And in the best showbiz tradition, I suspect her films, now and in the future, are always going to leave you wanting more!
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