Tuesday lecture series! Film Series : No Borders: Contemporary Latin American Cinema

Battle in Heaven

Batalla en el cielo

2005, Carlos Reygadas, Mexico, 98 min. With Marcos Hernandez, Anapola Mushkadiz.

Show Times

  • Sat, Oct 8th 5:00pm
  • Tue, Oct 11th 6:00pm

“BATTLE IN HEAVEN, as ambitious as its title, is a living mystery, already notorious for hardcore-osity but so serious about its formal intelligence and so deep-dish in its evocations of inexpressible desolation, personal and social, that it occupies your skull like a siege of Huns.” — Michael Atkinson, Village Voice

This powerful story connects the fates of a lumpish chauffeur and his wife, who ineptly kidnap a baby, with that of a rich girl who runs a brothel for kicks. Carlos Reygadas embodies Latin American cinema at its most experimental and cosmopolitan, drawing upon liberally international sources like Dreyer and Tarkovsky to address Mexico’s contemporary economic stratification and violence. Yet we will also consider the director’s local precedents, like Fernando de Fuentes’ OUT ON THE BIG RANCH (1936) and Emilio Fernández’s MARÍA CANDELARIA (1944), which similarly depict profound divides between racial and social classes. Whereas these earlier films either end happily with each in his appropriate place, or use melodramatic sacrifice to usher in a modernized Mexico, Reygadas offers no such comfort, with the film’s devastating conclusion caught between transcendence and madness. In Spanish with English subtitles. DigiBeta. (Daniel R. Quiles)

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11: Lecture by Daniel R. Quiles, Associate Professor of Art History, Theory & Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Admission to all "No Borders" programs is $5 for Film Center members; usual admission prices apply for non-members. Click here to learn how to become a member.

Play Trailer