- 06 May 10
Gorgeously shot and dreamily compelling
Huh? It’s not everyday that one encounters a Peruvian film where the heroine has a potato growing in her vagina. Claudia Llosa’s striking debut feature creates a remarkable first impression. Fausta, the film’s otherworldly heroine, lives in the slums of Lima; her family having been brutalised and displaced by the Shining Path years earlier. Her superstitious clan believe the milk of her devastated mother subsequently tainted the girl – hence the title – and sure enough, she is more than a little odd.
As this Oscar nominated drama opens, Fausta’s mother dies forcing the youngster (brilliantly essayed by Magaly Solier) to take a job in the employ of a blonde aristocratic pianist of patent European ancestry. The latter offers her new maid a pearl for every song she sings, though before long the mistress’ roots in the exploitation classes kick in.
Gorgeously shot and dreamily compelling, The Milk of Sorrow can, nonetheless, feel a bit too constructed, a bit too allegorical, a bit too magic realist. It’s not everyday that one encounters a Peruvian film where the heroine has a potato growing in her vagina but it still feels like we’ve been here before.