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Arráncame la vida

Last night we attended the first night of the Hola Mexico Film Festival in Wellington.  The first movie of the season was Arráncame la vida (Tear This Heart Out), the story of a woman who marries a Mexican General in the years following the Mexican Revolution of 1910.  

I found it to be a real genre breaker as far as Mexican cinema goes.  Over the years, we've seen several Mexican movies, and the general theme seems to be heart breaking tragedy, and rarely a happy ending.  This one was different however.  Although tragedy played a huge part in the story (I don't want to give anything away, but don't get too attached to the Carlos character.  He doesn't last long..), the ending seems quite uplifting.  Well, comparatively at least.

The story starts when the protagonist is 15 years old, and being whirlwinded into a marriage with a famous (or infamous) general, twice her age.  It tracks her sexual awakening as a teenager, through to her intellectual awakening in the following years.  All this in an atmosphere where women were expected to be silent, opinionless, and stupid.  The line that bring this home is where her husband says something like "You're very sharp Catalina; very intelligent.  Almost like a man".  That for me sums up the whole point of the film. Her hands where always tied by her gender, and by the man she found herself married to.

Over the next few days, we're going to see several more movies.  I'll post more opinions later.


  1. Hi Danny,
    I recommend you the film "La Ley de Herodes", it portraits very accurate who we are. It all happens in a very small town, but the same politics apply to any large city. It's the way of thinking and acting. Even the title of the film gives a clue of how things are in Mexico. This fil should be included in all film festivals but I guess it can be very shameful for the diplomats (after all they're part of the sickness) and other organizers.

  2. Thanks Christine! I'll be sure to look this one up.


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