Skip to main content

ANGEL OF FIRE

Mexico, 1992 (MIFF 1993)

Director: Dana Rotberg

This, the second feature by Dana Rotberg one of Mexico's most exciting new filmmakers, is a rare and intense cinematic allegory with its magic-realist treatment of themes such as incest, religious fanaticism and sexual repression. Built around passions and obsessions of Bunuelian or Felliniesque proportions, Angel of Fire tells the story of 13-year-old Alma, a young trapeze artist and fire-eater working amidst the creaking splendours of the decaying Fantasia circus. Along with her ailing clown father, with whom she shares a trailer and sometimes a bed. Alma's world is peopled with outcasts surviving on the fringe of Mexican society. She herself is expelled from this world when she falls pregnant and her father dies. Abandoned, she wanders the streets eventually joining an evangelist and her son who travel the country preaching fiery Old Testament morality tales through their puppet theatre performances.

Beautifully assured in its economical, elliptical storytelling, Rotberg's detailed odyssey through rejection and embrace, sin and redemption illuminates its macabre subject matter, allowing us to glimpse the humanity at work within the vagaries of life.

See also...

LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE

Laura Esquivel wrote her first novel in 1989, and 'Como Agua Para Chocolate' has become one of the top selling Mexican novels ever. The film version, produced and directed by Alfonso Arau (known for ... More »

HIGHWAY PATROLMAN

Alex Cox has already made himself quite a reputation for eccentrtc humour (Repo Man) and an unflinching vision at the gritty truth of modern life (Sid and Nancy). Continuing in both courses, he has ... More »

Sentinels of Silence

A documentary showing the major pre-Columbian ruins of Mexico. Narrated by Orson Welles, the film conveys a spiritual and aesthetic impression of ancient civilizations. ... More »

NAZARIN

Luis Bunuel's film is a kind of summary of his style and his ideas. It is a truly great film. John Huston called it a masterpiece on the level of Bicycle Thieves, Bardem declares that its final scene ... More »

MACARIO

Macurio is an allegorical fantasy about an im­poverished Mexican woodcutter; having performed an act of great unselfishness, he is given power io heal the sick. With his power he achieves fame ... More »

BLACK WIND

The black wind is a desert dust storm regarded as the worst enemy of the men building a railroad across the Great Altar Desert in Mexico. The film explores the dangerous adventures of its hero, a ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director