The Desert Within


Time Out says

An austere family melodrama set in the remote Mexican desert and employing animation, intertitles and a semi-Biblical narrative to tell its tale of guilt ridden farmer Elias and his doomed offspring, 'The Desert Within' is visually striking, admirably focused and extremely hard to enjoy. As Elias slaves in purgatory to build his perfect monument to God and his children one by one succumb to sickness, abuse, incest and insanity, the film itself begins to feel like a penance inflicted by an angry and vengeful director upon his helpless viewing flock.

There are moments of indescribable beauty here: the transitions between animation and live action are particularly stunning, and the parallels Pla draws between organised religion, political extremism and overbearing parenthood are insightful and fascinating. But overall this is a harsh, unforgiving film, for masochists only.

By: Tom Huddleston



Release details

112 mins

Cast and crew

Rodrigo Plá
Rodrigo Plá, Laura Santullo
Mario Zaragoza
Diego Cataño
Memo Dorantes
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