Ryan Zarazoga (director)
06 October 2021 (released)
Moving to a new job and home Diana (Ariana Guerra) and Beto (Tenoch Huerta) drive from Los Angeles through small town America – towns have signs saying English spoken only. Arriving at their new home its impressive in size if a little rundown. It is part of the deal that Beto has with the boss of the farm whom he meets later on and his colleagues most if not all are Mexican.
A Mexican/American couple language is something of a stumbling block for Diana, who although born to Mexican parents, prevented from speaking Spanish. Confusing as she has the appearance – as noted by Anita (Elpidia Carrillo) who runs the local store – of a Mexican. It’s a point graphically made during a farm barbeque where Diana feels left out, indeed discriminated against, as she tries to get to know people with the little Spanish she knows.
Diana begins to experience noises in the house and stars to investigate the previous owner. At the same time being heavily pregnant she has hospital appointments to keep up.
Madres is very much a social and political film with horror elements mixed in. It is debatable bearing in mind the true horror of the inspiring events why a supernatural element is required unless it is was felt that the horrendous treatment of pregnant ethnic women by the US authorities in itself wasn’t strong enough a draw. The writers Mario Miscione and Marcella Ochoa also weave the detrimental use of pesticides on the farm hands though this is something of McGuffin once we get into the film.
Aside from the social issues and politics, the film as an entertainment in its own right drags badly lacking pace and at times feels very tired. The supernatural element is certainly second place once Diana and later Temo get stuck into the investigation of still births and doesn’t actually add very much to the overall story or the points and serious issue that director Ryan Zaragoza and the writers are clearly trying to make.
Madres is available on Amazon Prime.