Such Is Life

After the disaster that was the near impenetrable Divine, Ripstein returns to melodramatic form with this digitally shot, contemporary version of Medea, based not on Euripides' play, but on Seneca's more declamatory version of the myth. Lured to the city by the fickle Nicolás, only to be forced to work as an abortionist/witch when he leaves her for the younger, more moneyed daughter of a crime boss, country girl Julie plots her terrible revenge in long takes and lachrymose monologues. Meanwhile, Ripstein gets Brechtian here and there with a ranchero quartet serving as chorus, performing ballads on and, bizarrely, off the TV. The measured pacing occasionally makes for great emotional intensity, though the regular irruptions of irony and absurdism prevent it ever accumulating tragic force.

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Cast and crew

Director: Arturo Ripstein
Screenwriter: Paz Alicia Garcíadiego
Cast: Arcelia Ramírez
Luis Felipe Tovar
Patricia Reyes Spíndola
Ernesto Yañez
Francesca Guillén
Martha Aura
Daniela Carvajal
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