Cine Las Americas 22 Review: MEDEA

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

From Costa Rica comes a provocative and shocking film that addresses the issues of women’s rights, sexism, and society’s complacency in addressing these issues. Writer/director Alexandra Latishev takes a realistic, slice-of-life approach to her presentation, but still pulls no punches when it comes to her messages. Medea is not exactly (in my opinion) a superbly executed feature film, but one whose story elements and images are utterly unforgettable.

College student Maria Jose (Liliana Biamonte) spends her days juggling her studies, playing on a rugby team, and partying with her friends. Life is not pure bliss for the young woman, though. Lost, delirious, and near her breaking point, Maria Jose attempts to pursue a romantic relationship with a young man named Javier. However, no matter what she does for genuine attention and love, Maria Jose continues to feel invisible and has always felt like a second class citizen.

While Alexandra Latishev’s messages and imagery are powerful and evocative, I feel the often meandering pace and slightly messy handling of a main climactic moment dulls some of the film’s impact. Latishev’s themes and emotions are less valid, though, and I definitely applaud her courage for expressing them through the film’s disturbing moments. It isn’t at all an easy film to behold, but not all art is supposed to be pleasing to the senses and emotions.

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