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Movie review: Tierra Madre

"Tierra Madre" (English title: "Mother Earth") has the potential to tell a heartfelt true story. Director Dylan Verrechia retells the story of Aidee Gonzalez's life working at a strip club in between Tecate and Tijuana, Mexico with her female partner, Rosalba, and raising her two children.

Even though this is based on a true story, there are a couple threads lacking in order to make this film more moving for its audience. In order to fully express the reasoning, the following does contain spoilers. First, it is the skimming of pivotal moments that help create the "drama" of the story. When Aidee and Rosalba decide to have a baby together and the months leading to the birth, there's neither genuine love nor enthusiasm seen between them. Perhaps it was intentional since there was a brief scene with them driving and Aidee was hesitant to openly holding hands with Rosalba.

Another main reason why a connection can't be made with the characters is Aidee's big revelation. After Rosalba leaves her for the father of the child Aidee helped raise, there is a powerful montage of her depression. The best scene in the film was her showering and struggling to actually get in the shower with her clothes still on. Seeing Aidee at her lowest point in life made the audience feel that somber.

Smaller details that were uncertain were introducing supporting characters. Rosalba should have been introduced either by the voiceover earlier than it was or shown giving affection to Aidee. Another is it should have been emphasized that an affair between Rosalba and her child's father is happening to ease her abrupt departure.

In all there were some good moments in the film and would be interesting to see more of Verrechia's work. However, Tierra Madre's delivery could have been better. I would recommend this film to see something unique, but it is not recommended if you expect something more.

For more information: Please visit the film's website or Facebook page. The trailer may be viewed on YouTube.

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