August 29, 2008
Studio: Emerging Pictures
Director: Alejandro Springall
MPAA Rating: N/A
Screenwriters: Alejandro Springall, Jorge Goldenberg
Starring: David Ostrosky, Lenny Zundel, Guillermo Murray, Abraham Stavans, Martha Roth, Martín Lasalle, Julio Richter, Paloma Woolrich Rabinovich, Vickt de Fuentes
Copyright Holder: N/A
Set in Polanco, a Jewish quarter of Mexico City, Springall's seriocomic drama depicts the religious rituals and dysfunctional dynamics of a Mexican Jewish family coping with the untimely death of their beloved pater familias Moishe (Sergio Klainer). Cultures collide as Moishe's large family and assorted eccentric friends gather to pay their respects to the dead, sitting shivah for a week, as is the Jewish tradition. Watching the loca familia in mourning is a pair of irascible (and invisible) Yiddish-speaking Angels, who take stock of the deceased's decidedly unorthodox life. Leading the family in demonstrating their grief is Moishe's neurotic middle-aged daughter Esther (Raquel Pankowsky), who threatens to kill her father's long-time shiksa mistress, Julia Palafox (Blanca Guerra), if she dares to show her face. But even as she corrals the rest of the unwieldy family, Esther has other concerns, including schooling the family's bemused Catholic servants in keeping foods kosher, turning away a mariachi band that has come to offer their sympathies, and confronting her daughter Galia (Sharon Zundel) with her suspicions that she is no longer a virgin. Galia, however, seems to have eyes for her delinquent cousin, Nicolas (Emilio Savinni), recently returned from a trip to Israel, where he has discovered religion, Orthodox dress, ringlets, and all. But orthodoxy can't save him when the police come for him right in the middle of the shivah. Even as cooler heads try to observe the required rules and rituals amidst the chaos and absurdity, how will Esther react to Julia Palafox's inevitable visit? And will the Angels decide that Moishe’s soul belongs on the side of the light or the dark?