By; Daiel P’Lopez
For those who love beautiful cinematography, and films that are done more in a documentary style, you’ll love Dos Entaciones (Two Seasons). A film by Mexican writer/director Juan Pablo Gonzalez, this is the fourth film by Gonzalez and it shows the struggles and the labor it takes needed to run a tequila factory in Jalisco, Mexico. Gonzalez was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Juan is also the co-director of the Film Directing program at the California Institute of Arts. (CalArts).
The actors deliver believable roles as if they are the real people living these lives. However, this is more of a film about the hard-dedicated work that Mexican workers and farmers do in their everyday life rather than a love story.
The movie follows business woman, Senora Maria, played by Mexican actress Teresa Sanchez who owns and runs this tequila factory. The opening of the film, shows beautiful landscapes of Jalisco and its tequila fields. Mexican farmers doing their daily routines with the agave plants and then eating their lunch with fresh tortillas over a hot comale.
One of the workers mentions a plague affecting the tequila fields including theirs. Then we see Senora Maria, a strong, yet butch woman, who comes across as an in-charge and determined woman. The movie follows Maria living her daily life as (la jefe); who seems well off, despite this plague (fusarium plague) hurting the tequila fields. She is forced to cut back pay on her workers. Maria has her home, has help, and seems very uptight as she eats alone and asks her help to supply her with fresh warm tortillas.
There are drawn out scenes at times, such as when Maria gets a haircut by a trans woman named Tatin, played by Tatin Vera. Later, Maria goes to a family party and meets a pretty woman, Rafaela, played by (Rafaela Fuentes) who she hits it off with. Maria offers Rafaela a job at her factory with food and shelter. Maria’s unable to pay her workers their normal salary but seems to like and trust Rafaela and makes her an assistant.
Maria and Rafaela, spend more time together. Maria opens up and befriends her. Although Rafaela is friendly and respectful, there is no vibe or sexual chemistry. It is obvious she only looks at her as a friend or la jefe. Maria wants to get closer to Rafaela. In one scene, Maria stands by Rafaela’s bedroom door, almost as if she wants to knock or go in but seems afraid and lingers there for a moment.
Back on the farm, we see how tequila is made and processed through big clay ovens, but eerie music is played in these scenes, as if something bad or dreadful is about to happen. The movie goes back to Tatin, the trans hairstylist, who goes to a casino and meets a man who she hits it off with. The next day the two have a lovely talk about their lives. Tatin tells this man that she was inspired to be a makeup artist by looking at the beautiful colors of the fields and landscapes and mentions the hills called la mujer dormida, (the sleeping lady).
The movie cuts back to Maria and Rafaela, who seem to be bonding, but in a non-sexual way. Senora Maria is still determined to make her tequila factory stay afloat but is disappointed when she learns that trying to save the agave plants with pesticides does not work.
Despite that her business is falling under and workers are forced to leave for other jobs, Maria continues to bond with Rafaela. The two have a scene where they are dancing cumbia together, things seem nice and normal, until a rain storm comes and floods Senora Maria’s factory. Senora Maria is finally forced to let her workers go and shuts everything down.
Senora Maria is devasted and distraught about her failed business. Rafaela tries to console Maria with affection, but Maria does not respond and seems as if she does not want the comfort from Rafaela. With her tequila factory gone, Maria breaks down and comes to a vengeful solution in the final scenes of the movie.
I was hoping to see a love story come out of this, instead, the movie left me with wonder and wanting more from the characters. Perhaps there will be a continuation to this film. Dos Entaciones, comes out in New York on September 9, and on September 16 in Los Angeles and other cities.