Mexico-1943-138 min. Director:Fernando de Fuentes & Miguel M. Delgado
Mexico-In-Film Spotlight, a sampling of Mexican classics.
Co-Presented with the Consulate General of Mexico of San Jose & San Francisco
Doña Bárbara is a wealthy landowner hardened by an experience she had as a teenager in which she was gang raped. She has accumulated her vast lands and cattle herds by using men, as well as illegal means, such as bribery of local officials. One of the few remaining other landowners in the area is Santos Luzardo, who has returned from abroad to take control of his family’s ranch. He suspects his ranch foreman, Don Balbino, had been working for Doña Bárbara in stealing his cattle. The other men do not believe Santos will be a match for Doña Bárbara, but he demonstrates his superior horsemanship, and it seems the balance of power in the region is going to tip.
Doña Bárbara has a teenage daughter with Lorenzo Barquer, a former land baron that Doña Bárbara left broken and penniless. He is now an alcoholic. The girl, Marisela, is left to fend for herself, and Doña Bárbara has no interest in her, though Juan Primito, a servant of Doña Bárbara’s secretly looks after her. Eventually, after Marisela is discovered by Santos, who takes her and her father in, and gives the girl education.
Meanwhile, Doña Bárbara has become attracted to Santos, but when she finds that her own daughter is a rival for his affections, Doña Bárbara still looks for ways to ruin Santos.