The Eyes of My Mother (2016)

The eyes of my mother francisca

The Eyes of my Mother (2016).


Sometimes, the road to the most absolute desolation, passes through murder, torture and confinement. And at other times, when you start to see a movie, there are no great expectations, and suddenly, almost immediately, you find a lost jewel.

In The Eyes of My Mother (2016), Nicolas Pesce’s first film, violence does not impress by the use of blood but by its coldness, in the camera, in the actors, in the landscape: an icy nature that, however, in itself does not exclude the recognition in the other. The horror and the disturbance, in black and white (the most suitable media to express the light and the darkness of time) crosses the eyes of the spectators and the characters; and this horror tinged with the sadness of fado, the Portuguese songs that seem even more desolate in the immensities of the North American prairies (almost as in those typical Russian songs, where there is always a husband, a son or a mother, lost in the war, or winter, and that never returns), in the end, recreates an appearance of pain, the illusion of a self-contained picture that closes on itself and from which the viewer can not easily escape. Not every spectator, it is true; for as in some mysticisms, not all human beings will gain access to the soul, nor to the necessary state of mind, which requires the contemplation.

Francisca, the orphan, like her parents, seems to have chosen isolation, not because she prefers it, but because it is the only thing she knows. What she has learned from her mother, in this kind of universe of American Gothic, German expressionism and Portuguese melodrama, are not only the skills of a butcher or a surgeon on the battlefield; but also the compassion of all who must work with the flesh. For Francisca’s eyes there is no evil; there are only accidents and chances, and there is also no joy in revenge, not even in crime. Just as you have to sew an open wound, they are only things that sometimes, sometimes a lifetime, must be done. And in this fatalism (fado or destiny in Portuguese), which is within the same beings and not outside, it is not the insensitivity towards hurt and pain, neither its frozen glance, but its intense desire not to be alone, which in the end will condemn Francisca to an implacable solitude, and to a new exile: not from the land on the other side of the ocean, like that of her mother, but of all humanity.

5/5 Stars

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Hobo With a Shotgun (2011)

hobo_with_a_shotgun_poster large

Hobo With a Shotgun (2011).

Hobo With a Shotgun (2011), gore / retro / post / apocalyptic fantasy film, is another of those endearing films in which after generous doses of violence of the most extreme nature, we learn in the most didactic and realistic way possible, the importance of values indispensable to coexist in society, such as justice, sacrifice, friendship, and perhaps love; without which the social pyramid would become a desolate desert of ignorance, depravity and abuses of the strong over the weak.

The story itself, unfolds in the manner of a Nordic saga, set no longer in the woods and the sea, but in the dirty and miserable streets inhabited by homeless people without dignity, drug addicts armed with knives, and girls and hungry children without dreams nor hopes, who sell their body or their pain for a coin, where the only thing that seems abundant is gushing blood for pure pleasure and drugs. A landscape of pathos, which the vagabond, personified by Rutger Hauer (What led this actor to that infernal city? Was he always a hobo or fell under these conditions due to some unforeseen misfortune, the fall of Wall Street, the Second American Civil War, bad friends, drink, gambling, stealing, betrayal, deception, or even a personal rebellion against the consumer society?), decides to take it in their hands and clean it, entering into action as a Patriarch of the early times, whose only law is the rumble of his shotgun, thus giving up his own absurd hopes (to end his days as a gentle gardener in the suburbs). Thus giving also a sense, finally, to his life of failure and humiliation, through sacrifice and through contempt and deep hatred for the subhumans that suddenly surround him. Like Dante, he too will descend to the real hell wells, in the company of his own Beatrice, whom he discovers in the wilted eyes of a girl tired of existence, in an epic journey towards a bloodthirsty and almost supernatural climax.

When everything ends, when the cliché is left behind, it is only up to the viewer to ask if we are to believe in evil, in the same way as in good. And the good may then be, always according to this film, a shotgun ready to pierce a human waste, in the hands of someone who has nothing left to lose: the skin of an old dispossessed, very angry and furious with the world.

5/5 Stars

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