Esperanza follows two converging stories of two Mexican women named
Esperanza (hope). The first is living with her husband, but her past has
forced her to prostitute herself. She has a son, living with her mother and
sister, who was the result of a rape by her father-in-law, whom she
eliminated. She is wanted, and hence cannot visit her son. She is told by
her sister that her son was injured and needs expensive surgery. She makes a
deal with her husband's best friend to get the money. He will use her
husband in his drug and theft business, and she will screw the best friend.
When that isn't enough, she also starts screwing a businessman who wants her
help to rip off his boss. Her husband knows nothing of the arrangements, but
eventually figures out that his wife is cheating.
Meanwhile, the other Esperanza is contacted and told that her brother has
been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. She desperately tries to find
the money, which places her on a bus. The same bus, in fact, that Esperanza
One's husband, his boss, and her newest lover are on. A hold-up goes badly
and the lover, her husband and his boss are all killed. Esperanza two takes
off with the money, but gets a call from the kidnappers who want her to hear
them shooting her brother. Esperanza One's son dies from lack of treatment.
A non-linear time frame was used, making it a little confusing and hard
to follow, but the message was clear enough -- essentially, life sucks and
then you die. Lest anyone have any remaining doubt, the director, Tona
Chavez, tells us:
"When will the pain, the anguish, the suffering, the hatred of the
victims marginalized by society end? This unforgiving society which gives
nothing and takes everything. WHEN?"