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Y Tu Mamá También

La vida tiene sus maneras de enseñarnos. La vida tiene sus maneras de confundirnos. La vida tiene... 

Year: 2001 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Alfonso Cuarón is the director of a number of acclaimed Mexican films, but you'll probably be more familiar with him through his American films 'Little Princess' and 'Great Expectations'. Which is a shame really. But the fact we know of him at all in a world dominated by English language films is testimony to his skill.

On the face of it this is coming of age story, following two teenage boys as they attempt to seduce Luisa, the wife of one of their cousins. They apparently trick her into joining them on a road trip across Mexico, little realising that it is more they, than her, that are being manipulated. It is this contradiction that drives the film, together with the uneasy, almost amoral, viewpoint from which the filming tracks the developing situation. Luisa has complex reasons for acting as she does; her companions' motivation needs little decoding.

Y tu mamá también is not a 'nice' film. It has humour, both dark and light and it's beautifully shot and set; but seeing it was not an entirely pleasant experience. It makes you ask questions about yourself, about humanity and morality and death that, in general, it's a lot easier to ignore. A commentary on Mexican youth (in the eyes of some critics), Y tu mamá también has a set of questions that are somehow universal.

The film has been criticised by some as soft porn without the soundtrack, by others as a deliberate attempt to create a cult movie, lacking in any real purpose. Others cite it one of the best films in years and talk about its complexity, its many varied layers and above all its great humanity. Hardly any are unmoved. Love it or loathe it, Y tu mamá también is a film you'll struggle to ignore.

Stuart Jarvis

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Screenings of this film:

2002/2003 Spring Term (35mm)
2004/2005 Spring Term (35mm)