In the Mexican drama “Dos Estaciones,” director Juan Pablo González tells the story of María González, the owner of a once majestic tequila factory who struggles to keep her business afloat.
María, A Woman Without Concession
María is a woman who knows what she wants and how to get it. She is a woman of few words, but her actions speak volumes. As the head of the Dos Estaciones tequila factory in Jalisco, she personally oversees all stages of tequila production, from harvesting to distillation. Her employees respect her for her knowledge and experience, as well as her no-nonsense attitude.
Despite her best efforts, María is struggling to keep her business afloat. Raw materials are more expensive than ever. Foreign corporations have eaten into her market share. A persistent plague and an unexpected flood caused significant damage to her plantation. As a result, she has had to cut wages and benefits for all her employees. María is desperate to turn things around, but she doesn’t know how much longer she can keep the business running. She is worried about what will happen to her employees if the company is forced to shut down.
When María Meets Rafaela
It is then that María meets Rafaela Fuentes, a true source of knowledge about the ins and outs of the tequila industry. Rafaela has just been fired from her position at another tequila factory and is looking for a new job. María, who was literally drowning in a deluge of paperwork and red tape, sees Rafaela’s arrival as providence. Besides her management and accounting skills, Rafaela quickly becomes a friend María can count on.
Moreover, their relationship is one of the most intriguing aspects of the film. On the surface, María and Rafaela appear to be just co-workers, but there are clear signs that María is attracted to Rafaela. She frequently sneaks glances at her and takes obvious pleasure in showing her around the city.
In “Dos Estaciones,” María and Rafaela’s relationship is conveyed largely through body language and small gestures. María is a very stoic character, and her lack of emotion makes it difficult for her to express her romantic feelings for Rafaela in the usual way. However, she can communicate her love for Rafaela through small gestures and deductive actions. These brief moments are both touching and effective in conveying the depth of María’s feelings for Rafaela.
A Ray Of Sunshine In A Dark Movie
Maria is not only an active employer in the community, but also a benefactor who has helped many people in need. One of these people is Tatín (Tatín Vera), a local transgender woman and hairdresser who appears early in the film.
Tatín is the opposite of María. Her business is doing so well that she plans to renovate and expand it and has apparently found someone who is legitimately interested in her, unlike María and Rafaela, who are in an undefined relationship, and whose business is on the verge of bankruptcy.
Although her role in the overall plot is minimal, Tatín brings a moment of lightness and hope to an otherwise dark and complex film.
The Incredible Performance Of Teresa Sanchez
Teresa Sánchez gives a powerful performance as María in “Dos Estaciones.” Remarkably versatile, Sanchez is best known for her supporting role in Lila Aviles’ “The Chambermaid” (La Camarista) released in 2018, where she charmed audiences as the vivacious and talkative housekeeper Minitoy.
In “Dos Estaciones,” her performance is impressive. She brings a nuanced depth to a character that could have easily been one-dimensional.
At times, she subtly brings to the surface the emotions of the character who is raw by nature. These moments become longer, more deliberate, and more destructive.
Sanchez is a magnetic presence on screen, and she pulls the viewer into María’s world, making us feel the character’s pain and hope along with her.
The actress and the director make this impenetrable pillar understandable in all her achievements and contradictions, from her contempt for “fucking Americans,” to her dedication to her work, to her position in the community.
This is a complex portrait of a difficult woman, an unforgettable character, brought to life by the extraordinary performance of her interpreter.
Sanchez also brings to life the setting of the film, which takes place in western Mexico. We feel the heat of the sun and the dust of the desert. She brings a level of specificity and authenticity to her role that is essential to making this film work. Without her commitment and talent, this film would not be nearly as successful as it is.
Watch The Trailer
Watch the trailer for “Dos Estaciones” below!
The Most Authentic And Powerful Film Of The Year
Mexican director Juan Pablo González’s debut feature film is a compelling portrait of a strong woman struggling to keep her business afloat in a man’s world. The film perfectly balances several competing elements to create an utterly singular and unforgettable experience.
The writing by González and his co-writers, Ana Isabel Fernández and Ilana Coleman, as well as the direction, are impeccable. The fact that the actors, most of whom are not professionals, were invited to collaborate on the dialogues, and the inclusion of unscripted sequences, give the film a special authenticity that combines documentary sensibility and artistic narration.
Attention to detail, such as silences, sounds, and gestures instead of words, also reinforces its authentic side.
Teresa Sánchez’s quietly powerful performance in “Dos Estaciones” perfectly conveys the inner turmoil of her character. The fact that this character is a dark-skinned lesbian of authority and economic power makes her casting a political statement in Mexico, where the multiple identities of characters like her continue to be marginalized.
“Dos Estaciones” is a masterpiece in every sense of the word, sure to leave a lasting impression on all who watch it.
“Dos Estaciones” Wins Special Jury Award At Sundance Film Festival
“Dos Estaciones” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2022, where it won the Special Jury Prize for the lead actress. Since then, it has completed its festival tour for 2022, including stops at Outfest, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay, at the Boston International Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize too, and more.