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Milk of Sorrow

10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Fausta (Magaly Solier) suffers from The Milk of Sorrow, an illness transmitted through mother's milk by women who've been raped during Peru's Civil Wars. Stricken with the fear that she's contracted the illness from her mother's breast milk -- Fausta goes to extreme lengths to protect her own sexuality and safety. After her mother's sudden death, she finds herself compelled to embark on a frightening journey for re-awakening, freedom and wholeness. The Hollywood Reporter wrote, 'Gorgeously shot with a plethora of haunting images.' Claudia Llosa directs this Academy Awardr Nominee for Best Foreign Film. Winner of the Golden Berlin Bear Award (Best Film) and the FIPRESCI Prize at the 59th Annual Berlin Film Festival.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Magaly Solier, Susi Sanchez, Efrain Solis
  • Directors: Claudia Llosa
  • Writers: Claudia Llosa
  • Producers: Antonio Chavarrias
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: December 7, 2010
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00432M43C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,685 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Milk of Sorrow" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Alfredo on October 3, 2010
Format: DVD
Writer/director Claudia Llosa loosely adapts the premise of old-time classics 'The Little Mermaid' and 'Faust' to contemporary Peru. Fausta, beautifully played by Magaly Solier, is a solitary, indigenous girl whose heart is gripped by fear. Her mother, who we see on her deathbed at the start of the film, was raped and scarred for life by The Shining Path (a radical Maoist organization that terrorized Peru during the 80s and early 90s). According to their native culture, her mother's horror was passed on to her through breastfeeding, a condition they call 'The Milk of Sorrow' (in Spanish, 'La Teta Asustada', which translates to 'The Frightened Tit'). Fausta is deeply suspicious of people around her, particularly men, and expresses her repressed emotions only through singing, as she performs her daily chores. Desperately in need for money to bury her dead mother, she begins to work as a housekeeper for Aida, a musician who is preparing for a concert and becomes interested in her songs of sorrow.

Llosa observes the social realities of Latin America (post-colonialism, class division, political violence), but avoids providing facile solutions. Instead, she focuses her attention on Fausta's more personal need for spiritual freedom. She does so with quiet, subtle humor and an eye for striking, poetic imagery.

I highly recommend watching this Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film and winner of the Berlin International Film Festival.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 27, 2011
Format: DVD
I was browsing for a good movie to watch and fell by happenstance on this movie. I vaguely remembered it being nominated for a Best Foreign Movie Oscar last year, and that was enough for me to take a chance on this movie. Am I glad I did!

"The Milk of Sorrow" (95 min.; originally released in 2009) is a very moving film out of Peru in which we follow Pausta, a yung woman who is grieving the death of her mother and trying to figure out a way to get her mother out of Lima to her village so that she can be properly buried. Fausta is very suspicious of people around her, in particular men, for reaspns that become clear in the movie. In order to raise the necessary funds for the burial of her mother, Fausta takes a job as a housekeeper. Will Fausta find a way out and get her mom the burial she needs? Will she overcome her daily fears? You'll just have to see for yourself how it plays out.

This is a very good movie, and very moving as well. Magaly Solier, in the role of Fausta, is a true discovery. I plan on seeking out more movies from this up-and-coming actress. Meanwhile "The Milk of Sorrow" is highly recommended!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on April 1, 2012
Format: DVD
Milk of Sorrow, through various reasons, received a good share of awards, including nomination for Oscar's Best Foreign language Film 2009. However, the Oscar went to The Secret in Their Eyes, from Argentina.

This isn't a film for every or anyone. It is slow paced, with an array of background weddings and celebrations that contrast to the dismal and psychological life of a young girl, who is making financial attempts to bury her mother. The film is with plenty of metaphor and symbolic meanings.

The opening scene sets the mood for the film, an old lady lay dying, and she sings the song that reveals her past. In the earlier days of Peru, with its hardened violence, women especially endured multiple rapings, as much as 30 in one night, that resulted in pregnancy. During the pregnancy, it was believed that the traumatic experience was passed on to the child through the breast milk... therefore titled, the Milk of Sorrow.

Faustina, a beautiful young woman, has just lost her mother, and has feared for her own life, not wanting to experience what her mother did. Faustina has implanted a potato inside her vagina to ward off any male intruders.

To afford her mother a respectable burial, Faustina takes a job within a wealthier home where the matron, a pianist, encourages and rewards Faustina to sing and she gives her pearls. The relationship is strange and we never quite absorb the nature of these two.

Opposite the depressing images, the brown, dirt countryside, with picturesque views, if you like the blandness of the country. Juxtaposed to the stoic, cold, and depressing Faustina, the viewer is presented with several celebrations of happiness, weddings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Faith L. Hoffman on February 8, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Beautifully filmed and directed!! I use this fim in the classroom but also enjoy watching it as enlightened entertainment. Would recommend!
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Format: DVD
"The Milk of Sorrow" was a surprise nominee for Foreign at the '09 Oscars, so I had to check it out. Claudia Llosa's film regarding a superstition regarding mother's milk is interesting. Our central character, Fausta, has been so brainwashed by her mother that she has become somewhat of a shut-in, mistrustful of everyone, especially men. When mom dies, she has to come to terms with life as it is. That's all I'll say about the plot. Fausta (a fine Magaly Solier) calms herself with the old songs, taught by her mom, often improvised to suit her mood. Indeed, music plays a huge part in the proceedings. In an attempt to assimilate with "normal" society, she gets a job in the home of an egotistical wealthy concert pianist, Aida (Susi Sanchez), and almost adapts. Indeed, when she asks Fausta to sing a song, it's the only chance you have to see a smile on the face of the lovely Ms. Solier. Pearls (of wisdon, perhaps) play a part, and when the old piano is thrown out the window and replaced by a new one, maybe the old Fausta will change. A very nice old gardener named Noé is kind to her, and teaches her the difference between daisies and gardenias. She's too simple for gardenias. At the end, she wakes up and smells the flowers. Overt symbolism, indeed. Still, there are moments of joy all the time, as Fausta watches her family members marry and have kids, etc. As I said, music plays a very important part, and poor Fausta is so very interesting and confuses us with her confusion. I was frustrated as she was, but the resolution really didn't say a lot about where she was at when the credits rolled. Efrain Solis was especially good as Noé. He ended up as baffled as I was. Not bad, but I wanted more. The DVD I watched had no extras.
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