In Atotonilco el Alto, Jalisco, a slow burn battle is brewing.
María García (Teresa Sánchez) is the heir to her family ‘s fading tequila factory, Dos Estaciones. María is well regarded in the town, and the influence of her past wealth is evident in her interactions with the community. Dos Estaciones is one of the last remaining generational factories in the area – everything else has been overtaken by foreign big business. Paired with an agave plague, the future of Dos Estaciones seems dire. Still, Maria is determined to survive and take a stand against the outsiders that are destroying the town’s main source of income.
Picturesque and intimate, Dos Estaciones is a hushed, slow gliding portrait about a woman and a town on the brink of transformation. Directed by Juan Pablo González, the film is based on his own life growing up in Atoetonilco el Alto. While this story may be fiction, the struggle that is depicted in the film is very real. It is a reminder that in a world of celebrity branded mezcal and tequila, there is always a community that is being affected by its takeover.
Most of the cast and crew are from Jalisco, so the story being told was deeply personal to everyone involved. Dos Estaciones is a film that is always acutely aware of where it is taking place and how the setting affects and dominos into the narrative. It lingers on shots of the town, the natural landscape of the highlands of Jalisco, and of Maria’s tequila factory itself. The stillness of these moments feel full of solitude and something akin to nostalgia.
As María García, Teresa Sánchez is hypnotic in her steely resolve to keep her business afloat. She commands her performance with total control. You can always feel something simmering away behind her gaze. María lives with an intense longing and loneliness, both in business and her personal life. Although María doesn’t like to show her emotions often, we get glimpses of her softer side with Tatín (Tatín Vega), a local hairdresser that owns a salon courtesy of María. Sánchez delivers a controlled, nuanced, and graceful performance as María that is a true treat to watch on screen.
When María’s her hand man is poached for work by the competition, she is compelled to act. Motivated by fury and vengeance, the film crawls to a fiery resolution. While Dos Estaciones sometimes feels like it stays in scenes for a beat too long, it is a very internal movie — placing emotional growth for it’s main character at the center of the story.