ECLA (L’Espace des Cultures et Langues d’Ailleurs) Ciné Club at ENS and Artlas present :
Daniel R. Quiles, 2013-2014 Artlas Postdoctoral Fellow, introduces Batalla en el cielo, 2005, dir. Carlos Reygadas
Batalla en el cielo (Battle in Heaven / Bataille dans le ciel, 2005, 88 minutes, Spanish with French subtitles), the second film of director Carlos Reygadas, is an essential example of recent Mexican cinema. Oscillating deliriously between visceral realism and cosmic allegory, Reygadas explores the radical gulf between rich and poor in contemporary Mexico City. Unlike previous such considerations of the country’s darker side by directors such as Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros, 2000), Reygadas’ picture of contemporary society eschews moral lessons or sentimentality, having appeared just prior to the disastrous drug war that has raged between the government and narcotraffickers for close to a decade. Given his subject matter, Reygadas’ quotation of Godard and Tarkovsky is less homage than corrosive critique. Jointly funded by French, German, and Mexican producers, this is international collaboration in the service of ethical crisis : an immaculate cry for help that implicates everyone.