Deep Crimson

Director: Arturo Ripstein
Screenwriters: Paz Alicia Garcia Diego

Institute History

  • 1997 Sundance Film Festival


Spanish with English subtitles.

Eager to journey into the harsh, yet beautiful, worlds he creates, Ripstein’s loyal audience increases with each film. Deep Crimson is perhaps the most compelling, unsettling proof so far of his meticulous cinematic mastery. Not only is this film breathtakingly shot, but it is also impeccable in its rigorous direction.

The heroine of Ripstein’s dark, unsettling, and masterful new film is Coral, an overweight mother in love with the image of Hollywood matinee idol Charles Boyer. Coral’s youth has passed her by, leaving behind her children’s dirty diapers and a meaningless job with hateful coworkers. Worst of all, though, is the loneliness which makes her insatiable sexuality all the more painful. Looking through the lonely-hearts ads in the newspaper leads her into the arms of the well-mannered and good-looking Nicolás Estrella, who quickly steals her heart.

It soon becomes evident that Nicolás is a philanderer and Coral simply one more conquest. But Coral refuses to let her dream go. She abandons everything: her home, her profession, even her children. He’s horrified, but Coral’s onto his game—seducing women and robbing them blind. So begins a grim partnership, with Nicolás continuing his womanizing ways while Coral helps pick his targets and deals with the mess when he’s done. In time Nicolás grows to like the arrangement, for his errant knavery has turned into a very profitable business. So what if Coral’s insanely jealous? Throughout his career, Ripstein has excelled with controversial, uncompromising films about people on the moral edge. Though lighter in tone than much of his previous work, Deep Crimson is still vintage Ripstein: thought provoking and utterly riveting.

— Ramiro Puerta, Toronto Film Festival

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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