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Alma, an albino woman newly released from prison, is determined to recover something more than her own freedom. To do this, Alma must spend her nights taking care of Clemente, a hypochondriac obsessed with avoiding sudden death. Their relationship moves through suspicion, fear and compassion to tenderness and love.
Kenya Márquez is a director, producer and screenwriter. Her first feature film Expiry Date (2011), won over twenty-five awards while Suffocation (2018), her second, won Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Film at the Trieste International Film Festival. Kenya has also directed Amazon Prime's The Game of Keys, soon to be released.
Film Review: Two lonely people’s Iives intersect in this quietly compelling Mexican drama by writer-director Kenya Márquez, which simmers with repressed emotion. Alma, an albino woman desperately searching to reconnect with her past after leaving prison, meets Clemente, a hypochondriac literally suffocated by memories of his. Clemente asks her to nurse him through his obsessive fear of dying in his sleep. Their relationship shifts from suspicion to genuine tenderness as they unlock each other’s secrets - but there is someone from Alma’s past determined to block her happiness as she searches for her lost daughter. Márquez frames this claustrophobically intimate tale in beautiful muted tones. Poetic, dreamlike underwater sequences underline themes of restraint and release, making for a visual delight as well as an emotional one. The urban sprawl of Mexico City itself becomes a key player in the film, as the vulnerable Alma stumbles through its dangerous backstreets seeking redemption. With over twenty-five awards, Márquez’ debut Expiration Date was the most internationally acclaimed Mexican fiction film of 2012, and Suffocation deserves to follow suit. It’s an apt film for the times - ultimately about never losing hope in even the most hopeless place. Adam Mattera