The Journey with Jesus: Film Reviews
Film Reviews by Dan Clendenin
Malos Hábitos (2007)—Mexico
This isn't a complex film, but it's nevertheless a disturbing portrait of food addictions. Elena is a classy suburban mother who suffers from anorexia. She constantly weighs herself, purges in public bathrooms, always claims she's not hungry, examines her body image in the mirror, and runs endless miles on her treadmill. Matilde is a doctor who left her practice to become a nun. She's conflicted by the dietary rigors of life in the convent. She fasts to end the constant rain, but also sneaks food from home and forages in the trash, only to feel shame. Stuck between these two is Linda, the daughter of Elena and student of Matilde. Elena projects her sickness onto Linda, subjecting the little girl to doctors, diets, acupuncture, weight loss clinics, and even a stomach staple: "No one likes fat people," she lectures. Matilde cares for Linda, who one day during studies asks her, "is hunger a sin?" Nothing ends well for these three women. Almost the entire film is shot in near-darkness amidst torrential rain, lending a foreboding feel to it all. In Spanish with English subtitles.