Artificial Paradises

Luisa is 25 years old and fighting a heroin addiction. Having escaped the city she finds herself seeking repose in a fading beach resort that rests on the lush seaside hills of Veracruz, Mexico. Inhabitants and conversations are sparse, but Luisa finds a quiet companionship with 50-year-old local Salomon, an alcoholic widower who spends his days smoking marijuana.

The film’s breathtaking landscape, captured by talented cinematographer Luisa Tillinger, is a slice of serenity, even though the village’s permanent residents grapple with the reality of paradise’s temporal promises. It is an interesting and apt backdrop for this less-than-ordinary love story between two people battling dependency. Director Yulene Olaizola, a rising Mexican directing talent who first gained attention with her award-winning documentary Shakespeare and Victor Hugo’s Intimacies, collaborates with co-screenwriter Fernando del Razo and actress Luisa Pardo to create a rich and sincere narrative debut that subverts the typical addiction tale and highlights the subtle yet powerful performances by Pardo and Salomón Hernández.
–Genna Terranova [Courtesy of The Tribeca Film Festival]