Cine Mexicano: '70s Art House The Passion of Berenice
Sun Nov 25: 7.00pm
Jaime Humberto Hermosillo
La pasión según Berenice
What is the passion of Berenice (Martha Navarro)a widow, teacher, and caretaker of her invalid godmother? Hate, she replies. I know that very well. And I assure you, theres nothing like it. The object of her hate, as well as her lust, is Rodrigo (Pedro Armendáriz Jr.), the handsome son of her godmothers doctor. Berenice is a character driven by contradictions and marked, literally, by mysteries. Writer/director Jaime Humberto Hermosillo is perversely uninterested in reconciling these contradictions: to reconcile them would be to dull them. Instead, via a coolly observational visual style and rigorous characterization, he keeps them disparate yet together.
But even more so than the direction or writing, the film draws its peculiar, unwavering power from the acting of Martha Navarro. Her performance, her posture and movement in the frame, is oppositional: to her co-stars, and even to the audience. So faithful is she to Berenices antagonistic self-possession, she gives the impression that she is existing on-screen only for herself and the character. The audience can observe Berenice, may question or even judge her, but one suspects we can never feel or know her passion as Navarro does.
Northwest Film Forum (View)
1515 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122