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Post Tenebras Lux (2013)

Director: Carlos Reygadas
Stars: Adolfo Jimenez Castro, Nathalia Acevedo, Willebaldo Torres, Rut Reygadas, Eleazer Reygadas

Post Tenebras Lux, the fourth film from divisive Mexican director Carlos Reygadas, is tough to talk about and, at times, watch. The experience is not unlike listening to someone describe their dreams to you, in that the images and details are, ultimately, not for you to understand. Post Tenebras Lux, Latin for "light after darkness," illuminates the inside of Regadas' brain, but the director does not provide a map for the territory. It helps to know that much of the film was shot in the director's home, and that the children of the film's protagonist are played by the director's children. It might help to know that the director attended a British boarding school as a young man. But these facts only go so far.

The plot, as such, revolves around an affluent couple who live in rural Mexico. The husband (Adolfo Jimenez Castro), a man prone to unfathomable violence, has a strained relationship with the townspeople, who are of Indian descent and not wealthy.

At times shot with the majesty of Terrence Malick, Post Tenebras Lux is a personal epic, a massive look at the interior. You lose yourself in the images—a young girl plays with dogs as storm clouds gather; a neon red devil wanders through a family's home; a man commits suicide in an impossible way—and you stay lost. —Ross Scarano

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