by Tuna

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?"

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:



  • Marina Michel, as Esperanza One, shows everything several times.


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