A Nuevo Cine Mexicano film, firmly set in the modern age begins ‘After Lucia‘ dies leaving her only daughter and widower husband to seek a fresh start in Mexico City after moving from the quiet region of Puerta Vallarta. Father, Roberto, arguably has more difficulty with the grieving process than his daughter and suffers random angry outbursts at his new job where he works as a Head Chef.
Most of the film and plot however surrounds Alejandra, a 17 year old quiet girl, who falls into a group of rebellious friends in her new school class. After a session of drinking, smoking weed and doing everything teenagers do together Alejandra begins to realise her ‘friends’ are far from who she thought they were. A much regretted sexual experience with a boy in her group of ‘friends’ is recorded and quickly finds its way around the whole school. This leads to Alejandra being ostracised by everyone at school and a series of humiliating events which come close to breaking her spirit.
The film hits its climax on a school trip. Some of the teenagers are drinking, smoking weed, having sex – and without spoiling the film, things gradually get out of control. Perhaps over the top at times, After Lucia paints a very specific picture and takes risks which many films don’t. This is my first Michel Franco film and although he may not be Cuarón or Iñarritu… yet – it’s a film by a director with great promise and another great modern Mexican movie.