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Perhaps too self-conscious a stab at a 'great' movie, Reygadas' debut is nevertheless an impressive, engrossing account of a man - a little lame, probably in his sixties, possibly an artist - who travels to a remote valley with thoughts of suicide. Renting a room in an elderly woman's house high above a village, he slowly rediscovers, through a tangle of unexpected emotions, the will to live. Little is explicit in this slow, measured, parable-like film; we're left to deduce motivation from a telling use of music (memorably the final movement from Shostakovich's 15th and Pärt's Cantus), landscape (shot in Super16 'Scope), and the performances of an almost wholly non-pro cast of local peasants. Mesmerising - even after one drunken actor hilariously shatters suspension of disbelief with a whinge about the crew.

By: GA

Release details

Duration: 134 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Carlos Reygadas
Screenwriter: Carlos Reygadas
Cast: Alejandro Ferretis
Magdalena Flores
Yolanda Villa
Martín Serrano
Rolando Hernández
Bernabé Pérez
Carlos Reygadas Barquín
Fernando Benítez
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