© 2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.
L to R : Claudia Orozco as
Karina and Cirilo Recio as
Diego in
Sangre, Amat
Escalante, Mexico/France,
2005; 90 min.

        Henry David Thoreau wrote "the mass of men lead lives of quiet
desperation," and the Spanish-born Mexican filmmaker Amat Escalante
appears to be out to prove that this is the case with his debut feature
Sangre. Truthfully, there's not much of a plot to the film where seemingly
nothing happens and yet -- the lead character's life undergoes a
monumental shift.

        Diego (Cirilo Recio) works at a local municipal building where he
counts the number of people who pass through the doors. His younger
second wife Blanca (Laura Saldana) toils at a fast food establishment.
Their mundane existence consists primarily of eating, watching soap
operas on television, occasionally having sex or fighting.

        As the film opens the rather passive Diego is recovering from a
head wound that Blanca has clearly inflicted. Things progress slowly
-- the film is nothing if not deliberately paced -- until a telephone call
leads to the introduction of Diego's daughter Katina (Claudia Orozco)
from an earlier relationship. Katina has left her druggie boyfriend and
is attempting to kick her own habit. She asks to move in with her
father, but Diego has to refuse because she doesn't get along with         

       The film veers wildly as a tragedy occurs forcing Diego to take
action -- and what he does is both shocking and somewhat unbelievable.
The ending feels as if it came from another screenplay all together.

        Truthfully, I was bored throughout much of the movie and actually
dozed off for a bit. If it weren't for a ringing alarm clock in one scene, I
might have slept through the remainder of the film.
Sangre wasn't to my

                                Rating:        C -