- Actors: Marcos Hernández, Anapola Mushkadiz, Bertha Ruiz, David Bornstein, Rosalinda Ramirez
- Directors: Carlos Reygadas
- Writers: Carlos Reygadas
- Producers: Carlos Reygadas, Hamish McAlpine, Jaime Romandia, Joseph Rouschop, Philippe Bober
- Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
- Language: Spanish
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Kino Lorber films
- Release Date: June 6 2006
- Run Time: 98 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- ASIN: B000EZ8ZRG
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,012 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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Battle In Heaven
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Battle In Heaven
Battle In Heaven, Carlos Reygadas follow-up to Japón, opens with a controversial oral sex scene involving beauty, Ana (Anapola Mushkadiz), and the beast, Marcos (Marcos Hernández). Marcos is Anas chauffeur, who has kidnapped and accidentally killed a baby. Ana, a generals daughter by day and a prostitute by night, confides in Marcos and performs sexual favors for him in order to persuade him to turn himself in. She is too young, however, to understand Marcoss confused mental state, and her sensitive position with him puts her in peril. Set in Mexico City, this tragic drama is as much about failed intimacy as it is about Mexican class structure, as Ana and Marcos attempt to bridge the class gap. A few explicit sex scenes show Marcos in bed with Ana or his wife (Bertha Ruiz), thus garnering it reviews that compare it to The Brown Bunny. In fact, the slow pacing and artsy, self-consciously composed shots do remind one of The Brown Bunny, in that both films are initially interesting but grow dull as their plots take forever to unfold. An intriguing plot is buried under seemingly eternal panoramic shots of the city, painfully slow conversation between characters, and constant close-ups of Marcos face that are meant to capture his angst but only deter narrative. Nevertheless, this films merit is based in its experimental energy, and any director who follows up a graphic sex scene with a cut to the waving of the countrys flag (in this case Mexicos) has my respect. --Trinie Dalton
Top Customer Reviews
i belong to the latter group.
first of all, the cinematography as the main character moves through the city of mexico is breathtaking and you feel yourself hanging left and right in your chair as sharp turns are taken.
the sex scenes are graphic, but not gratuitous; it's the way most of us have sex, not under the covers with our bras and underpants on.
most importantly, this movie is inhabited by real people, fat people, old people, crippled people and people who are generally not regarded as photogenic.
and the fat people are having sex. is that so hard to believe?
it's great to see that sex is finally portrayed as something not exclusively restricted to the ashton kutchers and demi moores of this world.
woven into all of this is an all too human story of love, betrayal and rejection
In this story we have Marco (Marcos Hernandez) who has been a chauffeur for a General of the Army for fifteen years. His unnamed wife (Bertha Ruiz) hawks alarm clocks and pastry in a metro station. Both are middle-aged, unattractive, and overweight, the antithesis of Hollywood glamor. The film is framed by sexual acts, and explicitly realistic Dumont-like sex is sprinkled throughout, apparently designed to tweak our level of comfort rather than turn us on. As part of his job, Marcos chauffeurs the elite General's rebellious young daughter Ana (Anapola Mushkadiz) around town and he is the only one who knows about her secret life, turning tricks in a brothel. To clear the air and perhaps to receive some of her favors, Marcos admits to her that he and his wife kidnapped the baby of a friend and that the baby died accidentally.
Transcending racial taboos and class differences, Ana agrees to have sex with her driver but tells him to turn himself in to the police. Persuaded by his wife, however, he decides to wait until after the procession of Catholics to the shrine of the Lady of Guadeloupe.
Reygadas challenges our visual ideals about screen sex by zooming in on Marcos's flabby physique and his wife's pimpled, varicose veined flesh. There's no getting around the fact that neither of them were at the front of the queue when good looks were given out, and in many respects Reygadas has done something unique here with the sex scenes. But the end result of his experimentation serves as a distraction from the principle story and only adds to the alienation we're already beginning to feel towards his expressionless, unfathomable characters. They're totally lifeless and did not even engage me at all. I found myself wondering how much time had passed and wishing for shots to complete rather than watching the same shot for the next ten to fifteen seconds. A feeling I felt once before with The House of Mirth.
The music was sort of interesting and I read that the director spent 7 weeks just on the sound. My guess, two weeks on the rest of the film. Personally this film could of been told in under thirty minutes. The rest comprises of long, slow moving shots of people walking, standing, corridors, buildings, scenery, and non too erotic sex. Now when I talk about slow shots, I am talking about a five to ten second slow pan showing a character turn their head one way, followed by another long shot of their head turning the other way and the camera turning again. Or the excruciating scenes of characters just standing and looking. It was difficult to wait for the camera to catch up. The movie needed so much more editing, as it stand it would bring it down to a short, but there were many aspects of the story that could have actually been attempted to be explored on screen, even in a minimalist way. You better off watching another Mexican films like "Lolo," "Vera," "Japon," Pulque's Song" or a favorite of mine "Amores Perros."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com
Whittier, California so I finally decided to buy the DVD.
For the price I paid I was disappointed with the movie. I was hoping for more depth in the development of the characters and their relationship in the time prior to the baby kidnapping.
I may need a second viewing to fully appreciate the story line and some empathy for the characters. Sometimes seeing a movie more than once creates a better appreciation of it.
The good news is after several months of trying to find the movie to rent my quest is no over.
But then I kept coming back to unattractive it all was. There's always a certain charm in the vulgar; a comfort in the repetitive; and a fascination with intense lack of beauty. In the end, it's the polar opposite of what we expect movies to be. I think Reygadas gets it right.
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