I’ve seen this film twice now. I was 15 when I first watched it and the experience was revolutionary for me, as the sheltered son of a protestant preacher. I felt both guilty and enlightened in it’s eroticism. Though, admittedly it went over my head. Today I’m 23 and after having experienced the beautiful Criterion restoration I find myself again enlightened. I once thought of this film as a fantasy film (sexual in nature). While I wasn’t far off, I completely missed the main emotion of the film. The feeling of freedom. I could blame this on the fact that I had to watch the movie in secret at 15, hoping my parents didn’t walk in and therefore had no freedom of my own. But I know now it’s because I was too busy seeing through the perspective of Tenoch and Julio, and not through the passionate eyes of Luisa. Luisa’s trip to the beach is completely different from the boys. She’s struggling with much more. I won’t go into detail for those who haven’t seen the movie yet. But her decisions mean so much more in retrospect. Her tenderness, her willingness to give herself away, her wide beautiful smile - it’s bittersweet. What’s most astonishing about this film is the actors who bring it to life. It required them to willingly give themselves away and there’s not even a hint of embarrassment. It’s one of those rare films where the characters become so much more than their real-life counterparts. On a deeper level this film is about Mexico and the ideal of freedom takes on a whole new meaning. Just think, one of the first things we learn about Tenoch and Julio is what social class they belong to, which is a subtle detail carried throughout the film.