Archive of films The Ruination of Men / La perdición de los hombres

Mexico / Spain
2000, 98 min

Section: Tribute to Arturo Ripstein
Year: 2008

There’s a Mexican saying which states that “damned women are the ruination of men”. This also applies to the hero of the story whose life course is determined by two women and baseball. A comedy founded on black humour, an ironic view of American culture and the Mexican conception of leisure which won a series of international awards.


The film plot is based on a Mexican saying – “damned women are the ruination of men”. The story unfolds in three separate parts where we discover what preceded the death of the main character. His downfall was brought about by two women who also squabble over his dead body, and by his passion for baseball. Arturo Ripstein and screenwriter Paz Alicia Garcíadiego continue in the style of video films enclosed in the microworld of the henpecked little Mexican. Here this world is generously portrayed – in the typical Mexican Spanish, the nopal fields, the morbid details and in the slightly surreal atmosphere. The hand-held camera allows for extremely long shots or, conversely, short, nervous lens movements. According to the screenwriter, baseball was chosen as a symbol of the kind of tedious sport that could never lead to such tragic events. Moreover, it provided a good pretext for glimpsing the innermost depths of the Mexican soul, since the game symbolises American culture. The narrative style, method of acting and the dialogues clearly point to the tawdry domestic production of the late Eighties and early Nineties, the difference being that, here, the form is used to lay bare the ailments of contemporary society. Not even this time does the director spare his native country, which emerges as a dumping ground for the most wretched cliches about Latin America and the Third World. In comparison with some of Ripstein’s previous films, The Ruination of Men is merely a detour to visual simplicity (black-and-white film, absence of symbols, return to early film language).


IMCINE - Mexican Film Institute
, 03100, Mexico City
Tel: +52 55 5448 5300, +52 55 5448 5399

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Tribute to Arturo Ripstein
Director: Arturo Ripstein
Screenplay: Paz Alicia Garcíadiego
Dir. of Photography: Esteban de Llaca, Guillermo Granillo
Music: Leoncio Lara “Bon”
Editor: Carlos Puente
Producer: Laura Imperiale, Jorge Sánchez
Production: IMCINE – Mexican Film Institute
Cast: Patricia Reyes Spíndola, Rafael Inclán, Luis Felipe Tovar, Carlos Chávez, Leticia Valenzuela, Alejandra Montoya, Eligio Meléndez, Ernesto Yánez
Contact: IMCINE - Mexican Film Institute


Arturo Ripstein

Film Director, Film Director

Alejandro Díaz San Vicente

Film Institution Rep.

Paz - Alicia Garcíadiego



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