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Rated NR · 188 minutes · 1993

Drama

This Mexican film, loosely based on Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz's 1940's book, traces the slow and painful collapse of a Mexican family after the sudden death of the father. Much of the film focuses upon the outcomes of two disparate brothers. Following his death, the formerly middle-class Botero family is left destitute. To pay their debts, the mother Ignacia throws the oldest son Guama who does not pull his weight at home, out into the street where he becomes a full-time drug addict, pimp, and bouncer. Guama is doomed right from the start. Ignacia then forces Nicolas and sister, Mireya to give up their bright futures in favor of brother, Gabriel, Ignacia's favorite. The selfish Gabriel is a law student and Ignacia has placed all the family's hopes upon him. Nicolas must leave school and take a peon's job. Mireya works at a sweat-shop and eventually becomes a hooker. Gabriel gets himself into a situation that jeopardizes his potential career. To protect it he cons one of siblings into covering for him. That sibling commits suicide.~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide

Director: Arturo Ripstein
Writer: Paz Alicia Garciadiego
Cast: Ernesto Laguardia, Julieta Egurrola, Blanca Guerra, Verónica Merchant and Bruno Bichir

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