THE RUINATION OF MEN (2000) [Feature]

Mexico (MIFF 2001 , Viva – New Latin American Cinema)
Director: Arturo Ripstein


Arturo Ripstein's film begins with a peasant being beaten to death by two of his friends after a fateful baseball match. Initially, the reasons for this are quite obscure, but they gradually emerge as his friends, his wife, and his lover bicker over the corpse. Winner of the Best Film and the Jury Prize for Best Script at the San Sebastian Film Festival, the title is taken from a well known Mexican song bemoaning the destructive effect women can have on men.

In keeping with director Arturo Ripstein's recurring themes, (sordid places, tormented souls, shifting moralities and sudden, violent acts) this is a corrosive and perverse black comedy. The film's structure consists of extended takes and a series of conversations, a type of bizarre folk tale. Its bracing originality, Ripstein's self effacing approach, the verve of its cast and the anarchic humour indicate the director's hommage to master surrealist Luis Bunuel. "Sharply scripted by Paz Alicia Garciadiego, energized by an able cast and the filmmaker's vigorous mise-en-scene, this is the most wicked and interesting Rtpstein feature I've ever seen."—Chicago Header.

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