“TIME TO DIE”— A Landmark Mexican Western


A Landmark Mexican Western

Amos Lassen

 After serving eighteen years in jail for shooting a man in self-defense, Juan Sayago (Jorge Martinez de Hoyos) comes back to his hometown to start a new life reunite with Mariana (Marga López).  However, the two sons of the man he killed are out for revenge, have been and have been waiting for Sayago’s return. d Mexican auteur Arturo Ripstein directed this film that is based on an original story by Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez (“One Hundred Years of Solitude”). Sayago served eighteen long years and what makes his sentence even more difficult to understand is that the man he shot had been goading him for a long time and his patience wore thin.

When Sáyago returned home, he found that his old life was long gone. His mother is dead, his house is in ruins, and his intended, Mariana Sampedro was married and widowed in the time he was away. Technically, she is available again, but it is not practical for Sáyago to think that way about the bereaved mother of a small boy, at least not while the Trueba Brothers are out for revenge.

Some of the old timers of the town have managed start to talk some sense into Pedro, the younger Trueba. He has a fiancée and would like to start a life with, her but his older brother Julián is determined to get revenge. This is both a “revenge drama” and a “contemplation of machismo.”

 We know exactly what destiny has in store for these characters just as much as they do, yet we are unable to turn away, just as they are powerless to alter their fates.

Bonus Features include:

  • Video Introduction by director Alex Cox (Repo Man)
  • Commentary by director Arturo Ripstein and actor Enrique Rocha
  • New essay by Carlos A. Gutiérrez, co-founder of Cinema Tropical 

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