About the Living (2001)

  |  Drama

A Mexican upper-class family suffers a great loss. After a while everyone seems to go on with their lives. But after 11 years, everyone will start to remember that tragedy and start the ... See full summary »


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10 February 2003 | epetrov
Seres Humanos is overblown in cinematic technique
Jorge Aguileros' Seres Humanos is a highly stylized examination of the disintegration of a family after the accidental death of their little girl. Derek, the father, retreats into mute psychosis. The surviving sibling, Damian, becomes increasingly, dangerously removed from all emotional connections. The mother, ` Dulce,' a celebrity darling of voyeuristic television pop culture ascends to the frenetic zenith of her career at the same time that her family reaches the nadir of its desperate descent into agonizing guilt and delusion. Aguileros attempts to use the artificiality, exploitation and cruelty behind the glitz of mass culture to question the nature of the `reality' that constitutes the family and the society of which it is a part. Which is more destructive and delusional, the smoke and mirrors of technology, or the ineluctable madness of memory? Unfortunately, despite its interesting premise, Seres Humanos is overblown in cinematic technique and comes up short in the writing. The characters are static and lacking in depth. No amount of montage, hand-held camera, and carefully composed shots can disguise the fact that these people are devices; they never come to life. We watch them with the same voyeuristic detachment with which Dulce's audience peers into the lives of the guests on her show. Finally, Aguileros imposes, rather than develops an ending. The resolution of Seres Humanos is contrived and artificial, leaving us with a feeling of relief, perhaps, but not of catharsis.

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