Such is life

Director: Arturo Ripstein

2000. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby stereo SR. 98 min.

Ripstein and Garciadiego transfer the legend of Medea from Greek mythology to modern-day Mexico City to tell the story of a woman abandoned by her husband, cast out of her home and threatened with the loss of her two children. Julia (Arcelia Ramirez) is not a sorceress but an ‘alternative doctor’ whose desire for vengeance is fuelled by her man-hating godmother (Patricia Reyes Spindola), who believes every male should be killed or castrated.
Working with a small crew and enjoying the freedom allowed by shooting on digital video, Ripstein goes for broke and reinvents his style, while continuing to pursue his usual themes of love gone bad and the woeful designs of destiny.
He plays with the narrative structure and employs imaginative flashback and fantasy sequences as a reminder that we are watching a representation. But such distancing devices don’t diminish the raw power of the climactic sequence, and Julia’s final act is one of the most disturbing moments in the director’s oeuvre. Plus Benjamin, director Julio Fons’ moving short film about an impoverished farmer who faces the conflict of losing his companion in order
to raise money. (2000. Colour. 20 min.)

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