You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

It’s Your Fault

Pic features a high-wire, arguably career-best performance by thesp Erica Rivas.

With:
With: Erica Rivas, Nicasio Galan, Zenon Galan, Ruben Viani, Marta Bianchi, Omar Nunez, Carlos Portaluppi.

An emergency nighttime visit to the hospital to patch up two rowdy kid brothers suddenly calls their mother’s parental aptitude into question in the high-strung Argentinean drama “It’s Your Fault.” Minimalist third feature by director Anahi Berneri (“A Year Without Love”) is helmed with acuity and features a high-wire, arguably career-best performance by thesp Erica Rivas. But its austere look, endless whining and crying of the kids on the soundtrack, and relentlessly bleak tone mean this hard-to-sell arthouse item will need all the critical support it can get.

First 30 minutes, shown almost in real time, rep a verite-style entry into the life of young mother Julieta (Rivas), who tries to finish a report at home late at night. Her offspring, 8-year-old Valentin (Nicasio Galan) and his younger brother, Teo (Zenon Galan), are not yet in bed, and do everything in their power to make Julieta’s task impossible. The kids’ constant demands for attention are as tiring for the audience as they are for Julia, with ace d.p. Willi Behnisch’s cramped shots heightening the general feel of claustrophobia.

When young Teo falls from a bed during a fight with Valentin, Julieta worries he might have seriously hurt himself, and she takes him and his brother to the nearest hospital. Her hubby, Guillermo (Ruben Viani), is on his way back from a business trip and only arrives later.

The scenes at the clinic, with its empty corridors and unnatural calm, feel like a relief from the audiovisual assault of the scenes at home, but the slower editing rhythms and wider shots soon prove deceptive. The pediatrician on duty (Omar Nunez) identifies a number of bruises and cuts on both kids, and after a contradictory explanation of what happened, suspicion falls on Julieta.

Auds looking to play the blame game will feel frustrated by this pic, in which Berneri explores questions of parental responsibility, contempo child-rearing and family dynamics that have no real answers. Rivas’ carefully controlled perf is both instantly readable and absolutely impenetrable, making it clear Julieta has issues, but never quite letting on to what extent she may be or have been a bad mother.

As in Berneri’s previous films, there’s a sense that the protag is straitjacketed by the expectations of those around her, and that the role she is assigned by others might not necessarily fit with who she really is. Though Julieta clearly loves her children, it’s not a given that she’s a natural mother, or that that could be the only thing that she is.

Filmed with a Red-One camera in clean, carefully composed shots and with exemplary use of sound, the pic further confirms Berneri as a talent to watch.

It's Your Fault

Argentina

Production: A BD Cine presentation and production, in association with Tu Vas Voir. (International sales: Bavaria Film Intl., Munich.) Produced by Diego Dubcovsky. Executive producer, Luis Bernandez. Co-producer, Edgard Tenebaum. Directed by Anahi Berneri. Screenplay, Berneri, Sergio Wolf.

Crew: Camera (color, HD-to-35 mm), Willi Behnisch; editor, Eliane Katz; music, Sebastian Bianchini; production designer, Aili Chen; costume designer, Roberta Pesci; sound (Dolby Digital), Jesica Suarez; casting, Julia Gesteira. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 14, 2010. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: With: Erica Rivas, Nicasio Galan, Zenon Galan, Ruben Viani, Marta Bianchi, Omar Nunez, Carlos Portaluppi.

More Film

  • Cannes: European Film Promotion Unveils 2018

    Cannes: European Film Promotion Unveils 2018 Producers on the Move

    An emergency nighttime visit to the hospital to patch up two rowdy kid brothers suddenly calls their mother’s parental aptitude into question in the high-strung Argentinean drama “It’s Your Fault.” Minimalist third feature by director Anahi Berneri (“A Year Without Love”) is helmed with acuity and features a high-wire, arguably career-best performance by thesp Erica […]

  • 'Avengers: Infinity War' Clip: Doctor Strange,

    'Avengers: Infinity War' Clip: Doctor Strange and Bruce Banner Explain Thanos to Tony Stark

    An emergency nighttime visit to the hospital to patch up two rowdy kid brothers suddenly calls their mother’s parental aptitude into question in the high-strung Argentinean drama “It’s Your Fault.” Minimalist third feature by director Anahi Berneri (“A Year Without Love”) is helmed with acuity and features a high-wire, arguably career-best performance by thesp Erica […]

  • To-Dust-Matthew-Broderick

    Tribeca Film Review: 'To Dust'

    An emergency nighttime visit to the hospital to patch up two rowdy kid brothers suddenly calls their mother’s parental aptitude into question in the high-strung Argentinean drama “It’s Your Fault.” Minimalist third feature by director Anahi Berneri (“A Year Without Love”) is helmed with acuity and features a high-wire, arguably career-best performance by thesp Erica […]

  • avengers infinity war

    'Avengers: Infinity War' First Reactions: 'Marvel Puts It All on the Table'

    An emergency nighttime visit to the hospital to patch up two rowdy kid brothers suddenly calls their mother’s parental aptitude into question in the high-strung Argentinean drama “It’s Your Fault.” Minimalist third feature by director Anahi Berneri (“A Year Without Love”) is helmed with acuity and features a high-wire, arguably career-best performance by thesp Erica […]

  • ‘Deadpool 2’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad

    ‘Deadpool 2’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    An emergency nighttime visit to the hospital to patch up two rowdy kid brothers suddenly calls their mother’s parental aptitude into question in the high-strung Argentinean drama “It’s Your Fault.” Minimalist third feature by director Anahi Berneri (“A Year Without Love”) is helmed with acuity and features a high-wire, arguably career-best performance by thesp Erica […]

  • Claire Foy'The Girl in the Spiders

    Claire Foy Previews Intense 'Girl in the Spider's Web' at CinemaCon

    An emergency nighttime visit to the hospital to patch up two rowdy kid brothers suddenly calls their mother’s parental aptitude into question in the high-strung Argentinean drama “It’s Your Fault.” Minimalist third feature by director Anahi Berneri (“A Year Without Love”) is helmed with acuity and features a high-wire, arguably career-best performance by thesp Erica […]

  • Anthony Mackie, Gina Rodriguez, Ismael Cruz

    'Miss Bala,' Animated Spider-Man Show Sony's Commitment to Diverse Heroes

    An emergency nighttime visit to the hospital to patch up two rowdy kid brothers suddenly calls their mother’s parental aptitude into question in the high-strung Argentinean drama “It’s Your Fault.” Minimalist third feature by director Anahi Berneri (“A Year Without Love”) is helmed with acuity and features a high-wire, arguably career-best performance by thesp Erica […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content