Screened as part of NZIFF 2001

Amores Perros 2000

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

Mexico In Spanish with English subtitles
147 minutes 35mm

Director, Producer


Guillermo Arriaga Jordán


Rodrigo Prieto


Alejandro González Iñárritu, Luis Carballar, Fernando Pérez Unda

Production Designer

Brigitte Broch


Martín Hernández


Gustavo Santaolalla


Emilio Echevarría (El Chivo)
Gael García (Octavio)
Goya Toledo (Valeria)
Alvaro Guerrero (Daniel)
Vanessa Bauche (Susana)
Jorge Salinas (Luis)
Marco Pérez (Ramiro)
Rodrigo Murray (Gustavo)
Humberto Busto (Jorge)
Gerardo Campbell (Mauricio)


Amores Perros is a feverish, breathtaking tour through Mexico City high and low, an explosive, mosaic-style portrait of our continent’s largest city. If you’ve ever spent time in the Mexican capital – and even if you haven’t – you’ll find yourself swept away entirely into this film’s sensory realm, into the tang of smog and the feel of dirty turquoise stucco, the smell of frying frijoles and tortillas, the taste of Carta Blanca…

But Amores Perros– the phrase isn’t easily translated, although Love’s a Bitch, the suggested English title, isn’t bad – is more than a breakthrough work for Mexican cinema. Its world of violence and subtropical beauty, its passion and heartbreak, its grimy realism and its sneaky, almost spiritual touches of surrealism mark it as a powerful and original work…

Yes, González Iñárritu’s vision of Mexico City is part Quentin Tarantino, part Luis Buñuel, part Roman Polanski, all enfolded in the elaborate, melodramatic plot structure of the telenovela or Latin American soap opera. But this saga of unrelated characters rich and poor, linked to one another through a horrific car accident and a loyal but murderous dog named Cofi, is both more tragic and more moral than those influences suggest…

From the accident, Amores Perros moves variously backward and forward in time through several stories about love and betrayal, about the ease with which people commit acts of violence and the difficulty they face in finding redemption…

What’s so surprising about Amores Perrosis not its sophisticated color palette, its ambitious scope or the highly energized cinematography of Rodrigo Prieto (or, for that matter, the Tarantino-worthy rock-en-español soundtrack), but its maturity. González Iñárritu is 38, but unlike so many American directors his age or younger, he’s not some suburban film-school punk who thinks the world barely exists outside movies. For all the brash fusion of styles and influences in Amores Perros, it’s a film with something to say and a remarkably adult understanding of human passion and the crazy places it leads us. — Andrew O’Hehir,, 30/3/01