After a taut political first act, 'Dawn' spends the rest of the film dismantling any notion that the political can exist without the personal. Each side emerges bloody, the cost of youthful ideology truly infiltrates the familial. Buoyed by the gorgeous photography of Figueroa (especially capturing the striking Palma), its strands are occasionally too messy given its staid middle half. Mexican 'Casablanca' is apt.
I had the good fortune of seeing this film last year. What a pleasant surprise it was too. Don't let the above synopsis fool you, Figueroa's cinematography combined with the film's trajectory has this playing like a well-crafted film noir. Now if I could just get hold of it on DVD.
Made during the beginning of the Mexican Golden Age, it's one of the first great Mexican films; a combination of genres, some distinctly Mexican like the Cabaretera, but also film noir and social drama that gives of vibes of Casablanca. Figueroa's on-location shooting in Mexico City is incredible. The story itself is good. It could have been a bit more concise, but as it nears the end, everything wraps up nicely.