"Novaro eschews melodrama and instead weaves a gentle, though occasionally haphazard portrait."

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 Las buenas hierbas
(2010) on IMDb

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Las buenas hierbas

Director: María Novaro Country: Mexico Year: 2010
Cast: Úrsula Pruneda
Ofelia Medina
Ana Ofelia Murguía
Run Time: 117 mins Festival Guadalajara FF 2010
Rome FF 2010
Havana FF 2010
Award
Guadalajara FF 2010
Rome FF 2010
Ariel Awards, Mexico 2011
 

Synopsis

"Dhalia works for an alternative radio station as she collects boyfriends and words, not yet knowing what to do with them. Lovingly, she raises Cosmo, her 2 year-old child. Laia is Dhalia’s mother, an ethnobotanist in charge of the Botanical Gardens in Mexico’s University, with an extensive body of work and field research.

Blanquita has a secret life: her teenage granddaughter, dead a long time ago, lingers around in a variety of ways that only Blanquita can perceive. Lala experiences some disturbing moments and Dhalia realizes something is wrong with her mother. When Lala is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease she asks her daughter to help her out “before her brain gets completely disorganized.” She gives Dhalia her latest research on plants and herbal remedies “that cure the human soul” according to the Mexican pre-columbian tradition. Dhalia is thus submerged in a compelling journey into her mother’s mind and memories, as well as into her own identity.

Her journey into the chemistry of the plants and the chemistry of the brain is embraced by her herbs and flowers, infusions and rituals, cactuses, tree barks and ancient remedies, buzzing insects, rocks, mushrooms, and the almost magical variety of forms in which nature manifests itself as a comfort for human emotions and the inevitability of death."

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