Directed by: Michel Franco
Inspired by actual events that occurred in Mexico, Daniel & Ana recounts the painful story of two siblings from a wealthy family who are kidnapped for a few hours. They are forced to perform sex in front of a camera (apparently they were caught by a mafia dedicated to the clandestine trade of pornographic material which is distributed via the Internet) and then released to live forever with this disturbing experience in their minds, only trying to protect themselves with silence.
The film brings up this dark story because it’s necessary to understand that this kind of sexual violence is a common practice and thus, public awareness is required. Even more so when it involves criminal activities such as child abuse or blackmail. But beyond this genuine concern and some interesting notes on upper class behavior in contemporary Mexico, this is not a compelling film, because of the weakness in its conception.
No density in character development and an unnecessary detachment of emotions in order to avoid sensationalism; all resulting in a never fully explored subject. The key for emotional distance is an accurate observation (which this film lacks), the one that could dissect a society without mercy and show how it operates. There is also a visual code: a cold, elegant, geometrical use of spaces and framing (which this film tries).
Daniel & Ana works best when it forgets this distance and presents tragedy in capital letters, slightly suggesting that a leak of incestuous and repressed sexual desire has been set free and exposed to daylight. That’s why those grey clouds constantly appear over the city like contained tears or a storm about to break out. Good intentions, but not daring enough; this means heavy subject matter but trivial filmmaking.
By: Enrique Vivar
Enjoy the Movie!!!