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Madeinusa2006

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  • 3.7
MADEINUSA is a girl aged fourteen with a sweet Indian face who lives in an isolated village in the Cordillera Blanca Mountain range of Peru. This strange place is characterized by its religious fervor. From Good Friday at three o'clock in the afternoon (the time of day when Christ died on the cross) to Easter Sunday, the whole village can do whatever it feels like. During the two holy days sin does not exist: God is dead and can't see what is happening. Everything is accepted and allowed without remorse. Year after year, Madeinusa, her sister Chale and her father Don Cayo, the Mayor and local big shot, maintain this tradition without questioning it. However, everything changes with the arrival in the village of Salvador, a young geologist from Lima, who will unknowingly change the destiny of the girl.

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An "elaborate production set in the pristine light of colorful coca-growing rural locations..." - Robert Keser, Bright Lights Film Journal


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Member Reviews (1)

Spends so much time setting up the ump-teen things that converge at once during the ending (yo, reincorporation can only be taken so far before it gets annoying), that I never get a feel for the characters NOR Holy Time. The latter was really disappointing to me, the idea of a small town having a set time where sins don't "count" is an idea that's been done to death, but I was very interested in seeing how this film would show that in this location with this style. There was opportunity for lots of interesting world-building here, but instead all we get is "generic sounds of debauchery" in the background and one random scene of some guy stealing a pig from some lady.

I was still pretty wrapped up by the direction though, and I'd be eager to see the filmmaker try her hand at a different story. There's something so very wondrous in the tone of this film, especially before the "plot" really kicks in halfway through. Scenes that stick out are the lengthy church sequence with Jesus being brought down and blindfolded with children singing in the background, and the very first scene, spending time with Madeinusa as she does the rituals that comfort her. I love the way her discovery of the dead rat is shot there. We only see feet. Walking, walking. Then she finds it. Pauses, kicks it trepidatiously, then kicks it again. Definitely dead, we see an arm enter the frame and she grabs it by the tail, the camera tracks her arm upward until we see her face... smiling?

What a clever way to introduce a strange girl in a strange village. Too bad it loses itself by the end.