A Secret World

The final day of high school marks the beginning of an emotional journey for María (Lucia Uribe), a young loner who sets off from Mexico City toward the Pacific Coast. What she is doing and where she is going is anybody's guess. The glimpses director Gabriel Mariño offers into her inner life reveal a desperate imagination and a broken heart, while retaining a profound sense of mystery. Uribe's impressive acting limns a depth of feeling the teenager hasn't yet learned to articulate. Roberto Mares offers an equally potent performance as Juan, a shy young man attempting to flee his impoverished background for the United States. The Mexican landscape is stark and beautiful, but Mariño uses it carefully, emphasizing the profound solitude of introverted dreamers rather than the romance of unlimited possibilities. He makes equally careful use of perspective and focus when examining the landscapes of feeling offered by the human face. The profound silences between María and those she encounters on the road represent human interactions as raw, painful, and furtive. She must travel more deeply into her solitude, through stunned and empty spaces, toward a lyrical contact with her own dreams.

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