This movie is original, powerful, and unconventional. A nameless man, an artist, comes to a remote, primitive Mexican mountain village to seek solitude and to commit suicide. He finds lodging in the barn of Ascen, a kind, generous, non-judgemental woman in her 80s. Whe Ascen's criminal gang of relatives threaten to destroy her barn for the cement blocks with which it is made, the man begins to regain a raison d'etre. The relationship between the man and Ascen is complex. Trust and love build between the two, primarily, due to Ascen's quiet, unswerving kindness and concern for the man. She shelters and feeds him, and he attempts to challenge the relatives who wish to destroy her barn. Ascen tells the man that losing her barn is not a problem for her; her relatives need the blocks more than she does. She has an uncanny sense of separating what is truly important from material issues.
The movie should not be explained further. It is for the audience to savor. There are scenes in this film which I have never seen performed so explicitly. The last scene cannot be shaken from my memory. The pace of this movie is often painfully slow, and dialog is sparse. The harshnes and glare of the land is emphasized in the overexpoed look of the film. You can feel the heat, desolation and hopelessness of the landscape. Yet Ascen's unquestioning kindness and charity prevail amidst drunkenness, poverty and the outrageous theft of her property. What is important is kindness, charity and love. I loved the structural simplicity of this film, and the ontrasting ccomplexities of the relationship between Ascen and the artist. When the movie ends, one has the feeling of having moved further toward understanding the nature of love
This is a remarkable first film by a new director. WOW!!!