New York Premiere

Spain, Peru | 100 MINUTES | Spanish, Quechua |


Cultures collide in this haunting tale about a beautiful villager whose life is changed irrevocably by her encounter with a handsome outsider. Madeinusa is an angel-faced 14-year-old girl who lives a simple existence with her unsympathetic father and younger sister in a picturesque village tucked deep into the mountains of Peru. While the townspeople are largely cut off from modern urban life, Madeinusa keeps a chest full of treasures left behind by her mother who abandoned the family. Costume jewelry and trinkets fuel the young girl's dreams of the city and the glamorous life that she imagines must await her there. When Salvador, a geologist from Lima, accidentally visits the town, Madeinusa is naturally fascinated, and she comes to his aid when the villagers imprison him in order to keep him from interfering with the weekend's festivities. Salvador has had the misfortune to arrive in the midst of an annual religious festival, during which the townspeople celebrate in ways that they ordinarily wouldn't dare even think about. They believe that sin does not exist between Good Friday, when Christ was crucified, and Easter Sunday, when he was resurrected. Thus, during this period they can do whatever they want, however reprehensible, without risking judgment. Llosa's stunningly assured debut feature is a totally original coming-of-age tale that expertly weaves the textural details of Andean village life with fictional elements to create a love story that contains emotional realism, fantastical whimsy, and unexpected twists. Ultimately, the audience is led on a shocking journey through the dark places that people go to when they are unafraid of God's wrath.