Archive of films Battle in Heaven / Batalla en el cielo

Mexico / Belgium / France / Germany
2005, 98 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2005

Marcos and his wife kidnap a baby for the ransom money, but the child unexpectedly dies and Marcos feels terrible. He confides in his boss´s daughter, Ana, and she offers him sex as comfort. Selected for the competition at this year´s Cannes fest, the film, by a young Mexican director, caused a sensation for its open scenes of carnality and sexual acts.


Marcos is the chauffer for a general’s family. He and his wife kidnap a baby for the ransom money, but the child unexpectedly dies and Marcos feels terrible. When he picks up the general’s daughter, Ana, from the airport, he confides in her, and she(who prostitutes herself for the fun of it anyway) offers him sex by way of comfort. Marcos’ conscience won’t stop tormenting him and so he sets out with a throng of the penitent on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe. In his second film, selected for the feature competition at this year’s Cannes fest, Carlos Reygadas returns to the themes he investigated in his remarkable debut, Japan: sex, death and life’s spiritual dimension. The interplay between Marcos, Ana and Marcos’ wife unfolds in the oppressive atmosphere of Mexico’s overcrowded capital. There, the poorest of the poor can’t seem to find a place for themselves in the city. Instead, they seek surrogate gratification and spiritual salvation in religion. The director’s daring use of shots of fellatio lacks the expected pornographic tinge: in the context of the film, head takes on a metaphysical dimension.

About the director

Carlos Reygadas (b. 1971, Mexico City) originally studied international law in his native Mexico City and in London, but he soon abandoned this promising career. He moved to Brussels where he fell for the charms of film. He began making shorts in 1998 and then returned to the land of his childhood with the aim of making the ambitious project Japan. The critically acclaimed film was premiered this year at Rotterdam where it attracted a lot of attention. At the Cannes IFF the film was screened in the section Quinzaine de Réalisateurs where the Camera d’Or jury, which assesses films by novice filmmakers, awarded it a Special Mention. Filmography: (shorts) Adulte (1998), Prisoners (1999), Oiseaux (1999), Maxhumain (1999). His film Japan (Japón, 2002) was screened at the 37th Karlovy Vary IFF (2002).


Coproduction Office
24, rue Lamartine, 750 09, Paris
Tel: +33 156 026 000
Fax: +33 156 026 001

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Carlos Reygadas
Screenplay: Carlos Reygadas
Dir. of Photography: Diego Martínez Vignatti
Music: John Tavener, J. S. Bach, Marcha Cordobesa
Editor: Benjamin Mirguet, Adoración G. Elipe, Nicolas Schmerkin
Producer: Philippe Bober, Carlos Reygadas, Jaime Romandía, Susanne Marian
Production: Société Parisienne de Production, No Dream Cinema, Mantarraya, Essential Filmproduktion, MaceyCo, Tarantula BE
Cast: Marcos Hernández, Anapola Mushkadiz, Berta Ruiz, David Bornstein, Rosalinda Ramírez
Contact: Coproduction Office

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