Maria is 18 years old, an introvert and also very secretive. She does not talk much and has no friends at the school. But she doesn't say no to men when they try to take advantage of her body. She writes a journal which is mostly notes to herself, and in which she loathes herself for being a whore. On graduation day she runs away from home and goes on a long bus journey that finally takes her to La Paz Lake in northern Mexico. What she finds and does there cannot be revealed in this review. Her smile in the closing frame of the film on the shore of the lake is as beguiling as that of Mona Lisa.
Maria dominates the film in large close-ups; her expressions however give away nothing. When she is having a dialogue with her mother, the latter is out of focus. We don't get to see the face of the man who befriends and exploits her in the restaurant. The film has a slow lyrical tempo with arresting views of the Mexican landscape.
Maria's long journey has to be considered as a metaphor, a metaphor for self-discovery and emotional evolution. Is her destination planned or is it a happy accident? It is a secret that we will never know.
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