HUESERA (Tribeca 2022) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Michelle Garza Cervera has an extraordinary ability to provide striking, unforgettable moments that stand alone – Valeria going into labor in a mosh pit, for example, or the indescribably beautiful opening moments of the film are of particular note here – while at the same time weaving them with a master craftperson’s precision into a tapestry where each of these moments is inseparable from the thematic fabric that surrounds it. Aside from its undeniable artistry, Huesera is propelled by an undisguised, catch-in-your-throat fierceness in its determination to say something really meaningful about the dark side of motherhood

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 22, 2021: IDENTIFYING FEATURES

Heartbreaking and quietly powerful, writer/director Fernanda Valadez’ debut drama Identifying Features shines a light on the complex, tragic realities of what can happen when undocumented immigrants set out to cross the border from Mexico into the United States. It is a truly heartbreaking film that puts a very human face on a humanitarian crisis, sparking both empathy and outrage.

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IDENTIFYING FEATURES – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

With Identifying Features, first-time director Fernanda Valadez valiantly avoids the usual drug-wars action thriller. Instead, she has delivered a harrowing drama about the migration crisis at the U.S. southern border that is far more intimate and poignant as it focuses the lives of people looking for a better life and the danger involved in doing so.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 6, 2019: TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID

Gritty and raw, Issa Lopez’ dark urban fairy tale Tigers Are Not Afraid (titled Vuelven in Spanish, which translates to They Come Back) centers on the devastating consequences of the drug trade, showing how the cartels’ criminal ways affect everyone in their path — including children, whose innocence disappears as quickly as the grown-ups in their lives.

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TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID – Review by Jennifer Merin

Tigers Are Not Afraid, written and directed by Mexican filmmaker Issa Lopez, is a gripping and often hard to watch fantasy-clad drama that revolves around a group of Mexican tweens — a girl and four boys — whose ‘disappeared’ parents were victims of the ongoing drug-related violence that is decimating communities across the country.

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TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Tigers Are Not Afraid, infused with a sense magical realism and featuring some rather gripping performances by child actors, is a gritty cinema-verite crime drama that feels like Peter Pan, the Lost Boys and Wendy met in Pan’s Labyrinth while protecting each other on the mean streets of Mexico. As drug wars regularly break out and gunfire is a regular occurrence, young children define themselves as warriors and fend for themselves in a parent-less jungle where crime, corruption and danger lurk around every corner.

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THE CHAMBERMAID – Review by Roxana Hadadi

High above Mexico City, more than 20 floors above the ground, Eve (Gabriela Cartol) works with her whole body. She dashes across hotel rooms, leaning over to pick up trash. She perches in the bathroom, scrubbing away. She smooths sheets and blankets with her entire upper half, making a 90-degree angle with the bed. Her responsibilities are highly regimented and take an immense physical toll, but you wouldn’t know that from her polite small talk or her demure “Excuse me” when she leaves a room. Eve has been trained to serve and to be ignored.

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Sydney FF 2019: OUR TIME – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Chances are, if you’ve seen a film by acclaimed Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas before you’ll have a pretty clear idea what you’ll make of his latest feature Our Time before you even watch it. Tedious navel-gazing or ponderous poetic reflection? As is now seemingly par for the course with Reygadas, opinion is largely split, although Our Time does not seem to have drummed up quite the impassioned positive responses as his last feature six years ago, the more experimental and audacious Post Tenebras Lux from 2012. It may simply be a case of better the (animated) devil you know.

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Alfonso Cuaron on Mother Figures in Life and in ROMA – Sarah Knight Adamson Interviews

In capturing the monotonous tasks carried out daily by his beloved housekeeper/caregiver, Alfonso Cuaron invites us to witness quiet colorless moments that seen in Roma to shine as brightly as a rainbow. Roma, is nothing short of an artful masterpiece.

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