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46 Ratings

Bleak Street

La calle de la amargura

Directed by Arturo Ripstein
Mexico, Spain, 2015


Inspired by a true story, features two aging whores who, using eye drops, accidentally kill two dwarf brothers who work as lucha libre mascots. Truth is indeed sometimes stranger than fiction.

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Bleak Street Directed by Arturo Ripstein
Shot in pristine black and white, the film gracefully explores the long-term cost of economic and social disenfranchisement without dovetailing into misery porn. Here, brutality is organic and time passes slowly. The steady camera seems to dance with each actor as they move through cramped, dank spaces. In these smooth, talky sequences both are in perfect unison, calling attention to the film's overt fascination with doubles.
March 15, 2016
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Bleak Street" ("La calle de amargura") is a visionary triumph for the 72-year-old director... Ripstein, who began his long career working with the maestro Luis Buñuel, has his one-time mentor's post-idealistic anger but doesn't adopt an insouciantly ironic mode to filter it through; his perspective is determined but never detached. He is served very well by the movie's settings.
January 20, 2016
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Shot in luscious black-and-white, Bleak Street is confined, like its characters, to the back alleys of Mexico City. Cinematographer Alejandro Cantú heightens the grubby locale with brightly illuminated spaces set against shadowy backgrounds... Ripstein finds dark humor in his characters' diminished expectations, which sag so low they're subterranean.
January 19, 2016
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