09 March 2010

The Milk of Sorrow / La teta asustada (Claudia Llosa, 2009, Peru)

What a curious movie. It's hard for me to watch it without being conscious of the foreign film Oscar race. I've seen three of the other nominees and several of the other submitted films and I'm not sure this would have made my list of nominees. It's hard to say though because I feel like I'm still digesting this movie and want to see it again. I certainly loved the way the movie opens. The singing and the deathbed with the mountains in the window and all that are kind of thrilling. The story was touching. I appreciated the restraint. I don't know how I feel about this movie. I liked the music and the framing and the cinematography quite a bit. The mother was phenomenal in her one scene. The protagonist, Fausta, is mysterious and compelling. I sort of felt like there were things going on that I didn't understand culturally, such as the dynamic with the protagonist's boss. There's this great scene though where Fausta's going to work for the rich pianist for the first time and they walk into her yard through a sort of garage door type thing and that scene is an extremely effective evocation of class dynamics. It's past my bedtime. I don't know what I think about this movie yet so I'm going to give it a B+ for now. I think there is probably more depth and truth to this movie than in three or four of the other nominees but I guess I still would have voted for A Prophet just because of how intensely cinematic yet graceful it was. Of course, there's grace here as well. I just don't know. I'm rambling now. Bedtime!


  1. Hi! I'm from Peru, and I think "The Milk of Sorrow" has a depth meaning, so that if you wanna understand this movie altogether, you'll need Peru's cultural background ;)... maybe a trip to Wikipedia can help :D

    Best regards!

  2. Yes, I read about this before watching the movie. I still wondered about the relationship between Fausta and her boss.