“Herod’s Law,” Luis Estrada’s story of political corruption—a searing satire of the long-ruling Mexican Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI)—was a phenomenon when released in 2000. Given that the PRI was still in power at the time of its release, that’s not particularly surprising. And while some critics have charged Estrada’s obvious indignation does more harm than good—the San Francisco Chronicle, for one, contended the filmmaker was “so charged by anger and emotion that storytelling grows clouded”—others have been more forgiving. The Boston Globe said the film was an “incisive, highly entertaining political farce” and L.A. Weekly called it “ a bracingly sarcastic political comedy … possessed of a baleful satiric eye for hypocrisy and greed.” At the very least, it could not be argued that Estrada wasn’t passionate about his work. As for the results, well, you can decide for yourself.
— CINEMA TROPICAL: The Latin American film series continues with Luis Estrada’s 2000 flick, “Herod’s Law.”7 p.m. at I-House. $6; $5 members/students/seniors. Info: 215-387-5125 or www.ihousephilly.org.
Originally published on December 9, 2004