The Milk of Sorrow

The Milk of Sorrow

Magaly Solier as Fausta in THE MILK OF SORROW. An Olive Films Release.

The Milk of Sorrow (2009/2010)

Also Known As: Milk of Sorrow, La Teta Asustada

Opened: 08/27/2010 Limited

Cinema Village...08/27/2010 - 09/09/201014 days
Laemmle's Musi...09/03/2010 - 09/09/20107 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home

Genre: Drama/Music (In Spanish and Quechua with English subtitles)

Rated: Unrated


Fausta suffers from "the milk of sorrow", an illness transmitted through mother's milk by women who have been violated or mistreated during the war of terrorism in Peru. The war has ended, but Fausta's life is a reminder of it because "the illness of fear" stole her soul. Now, her mother's sudden death forces her to confront her fears and the secret that is hidden inside of her: she has inserted a potato into her vagina to serve as a protective shield that repels disgusting intruders. THE MILK OF SORROW is the story of a search for re-awakening, a journey from fear to freedom.

Director's Comment

"Words are the source of misunderstandings." Antoine De Saint-Exupery How can we communicate with each other in a divided country? How can we create one body, one nation, if we live in a country of individuals who are culturally so different? How can a nation compose itself after a violent rupture and traumatic experience?

THE MILK OF SORROW is a metaphor for breakdown. A repressed country that can only express itself via its unconscious: its myths, its fears and traumas. The body of a bleeding woman expresses emptiness that needs to be filled, anguish that needs to rest, terror of coming across something different, of losing control. We live in an indecisive, repressed country whose main informer is its body. But memory is not the only aim of the battle. How does the process of burying a painful past function? Does more memory require more forgiveness and reconciliation? An effort for forgiveness is required, as well as one to preserve the history of an oral culture that has been repressed by an officially imposed history.

Aristotle once said that "mere voice is not only an indication of pleasure and pain." That is why singing functions as an important way of expressing ourselves, of recreating our memory or what we have forgotten. But insufficient written memory does not destroy the wealth of a people's history. Neither does it eliminate its sorrow, nor does it always contribute to its vindication. But it does increase its need for expression. The Andean world is seeking to renew itself via its festivals, rituals and songs: a "constant return" of repressed memory in allegorical form. This is the ingenuity of a modern, emerging and creative culture that, coming as it does from the Andes racked by terrorism, displays an extraordinary capacity to enter into a world that does not recognise its diversity and respect for the "other". THE MILK OF SORROW is about unresolved, violent, personal and collective memory. Imposed burden, latent repression. A potato buried inside a girl, in search of a possible flowering. A healing.