The Amazing Catfish

Feature | NR | 89 min


Green Hills Cinema - Theater 15 Fri, Apr 18, 2014 3:00 PM
Green Hills Cinema - Theater 3 Mon, Apr 21, 2014 7:00 PM
Film Info
Section:World Cinema Feature
Run Time:89
Premiere Status:Tennessee
Original Language:Spanish
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Claudia Sainte-Luce
Cast:Lisa Owen
Ximena Ayala
Sonia Franco
Wendy Gil
Producer:Geminiano Pineda
Screenwriter:Claudia Sainte-Luce
Cinematographer:Agnes Godard
Editor:Santiago Ricci
Music:Lino Nava


Claudia (Ximena Ayala), a product demonstrator in her twenties, meets ailing matriarch Martha (Lisa Owen) in a hospital room after Claudia is admitted for appendicitis. When Martha spots Claudia walking home alone after surgery, she offers her a lift in her crowded old yellow Beetle. Set in Guadalajara, Mexico, this debut feature from writer-director Claudia Sainte-Luce is a sweet comedy that explores generosity and responsibility. Without anyone ever making a big deal of it, Claudia is quickly integrated into Martha's quirky, bustling home, where along with camaraderie and regular meals come unexpected duties. Martha is HIV-positive and slowly dying — the painful process exacerbated by the extreme expense of, and, due to layers of bureaucracy, the difficulty in accessing medical treatments. Claudia can lend a hand, not only with Martha's daily needs, but by caring for the children — acknowledging Wendy's self-destructive habits or Mariana's anxieties, or answering little Armando's questions about how to execute various types of kisses. None of this feels forced. These moments emerge naturally, nestled between countless moments of inspired comedy, and the camerawork by Claire Denis' cinematographer Agnès Godard is as immaculately naturalistic as the performances. Inevitably, there is some sadness in The Amazing Catfish, but the feeling we're left with is one of abundant joy — and messy, beautiful togetherness.