A los ojos (To the Eyes)
Directors/Writers: Vicky and Michel Franco
Producer(s): Lucia Films’ Michel Franco & Moises Zonana
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
Cast: Monica del Carmen (Michael Rowe’s Año bisiesto)
In my books, his debut Daniel and Ana (Cannes – Directors’ Fortnight ’09) left quite the impression for its unflinching look at an unfathomable, hideous social crime, but it was at the ’12 edition of the Cannes Film Festival where Michel Franco joined the ranks of the Mexico’s top working auteurs (Reygadas, Escalante, Naranjo, Eimbcke and Plá) as several took notice of his skillset and this included Tim Roth and the Un Certain Regard jury who awarded the filmmaker with the top prize of the section. After Lucia, which I describe as a “Haneke film for teens” may posit on the bullying thematic, but here Franco skillfully demonstrates how difficult it is for the healing process to occur when wounds are left untreated and worse yet, are sprinkled with ocean water salt. This is the type of sophomore film that demonstrates a filmmaker’s control – Franco manages to do is shock his viewer, but more importantly engage us and make us question violence as Haneke did with Funny Games. Filmed with his docu-helmer sister, A los ojos features Año bisiesto‘s Monica del Carmen alongside non-actors and the film (production lasted four months) borrows a docu-aesthetic and is filmed largely in the marginal areas of Mexico City.
Gist: This docu-fiction hybrid is about a mother (Monica del Carmen) who works as a social worker in aiding, integrating and rehabilitating children suffering from homelessness in Mexico City, while her son, Omar struggles with life-long problems with his eyesight.
Release Date: We expect this to be shown at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival – Un Certain Regard.