Director: Gael Garcia Bernal

mexico • 2007 • subtitled colour • dolby digital stereo 79 mins

Mexican star Gael Garcia Bernal makes his initial foray into directing with Deficit, a seemingly straightforward story about a house party held just outside Mexico City. Taking his cue from films like Alfonso Cuaron’s Y tu mama tambien (in which he co-starred), Garcia Bernal examines the differences between the classes in Mexico.
Hip-hop-loving rich kid Cristobal (Garcia Bernal) is having his pals over for a barbecue at his parents’ weekend home. His younger sister and her hippie, pill-popping friends are also staying at the house, and the clash between the two groups of friends is comic yet intense. A terrible case of wanting to have one’s cake and eat it too is at the heart of Deficit’s social criticism. At first, our hero doesn’t seem so appealing. But what makes the film intriguing is its refusal to moralise. Cristobal is not so bad, really; just completely lost. An honest, sincere film, Defecit showcases a new facet of one of Latin America’s most inspiring young talents. —Diana Sanchez.

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