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The Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada) (2010)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 36
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 7

Claudia Llosa's deliberate pace and abstract storytelling may frustrate some viewers, but there's no denying the visual pleasures soaking in The Milk of Sorrow.


Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1

Claudia Llosa's deliberate pace and abstract storytelling may frustrate some viewers, but there's no denying the visual pleasures soaking in The Milk of Sorrow.



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 8,684

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Movie Info

Director Claudia Llosa follows her award-winning feature directorial debut, Madeinusa, with this stark meditation on a grim period of South American history in which approximately 70,000 people were murdered between the years 1980 and 2000. Fausta (Magaly Solier) has fallen ill with a disease passed down from mother to daughter through breast milk. But Fausta's affliction isn't biological; it strictly affects Peruvian women who were raped or abused during those two terrible decades of


Art House & International, Drama

Claudia Llosa

Dec 7, 2010


Olive Films - Official Site External Icon

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August 27, 2010:
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All Critics (37) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (7) | DVD (1)

The metaphors are so crystal-clear and the story unfolds at such a deliberate, often infuriatingly slow pace that the impact of the drama is muted.

September 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Claudia Llosa, the director and co-writer, favors wide shots and long takes, which lend an air of realism to the beautifully shot allegory.

August 27, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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The Milk Of Sorrow is about a country dealing with old wounds and old divisions, and it's about how sometimes it can be easier to cling to pain than to move past it.

August 26, 2010 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
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Trauma is buried and rarely alluded to in this quiet slice of magical realism -- but there's no denying the pain when it comes.

August 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
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The movie, which won the Golden Bear at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival, is littered with unforgettable images of incongruity, destruction, and, finally, healing.

August 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Llosa tenderly documents the slow, surreal process of both personal and community rehabilitation in a film which seeks to lay to rest a nation's civil war grief.

February 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Llosa, daughter of the author Mario Vargas Llosa, employs symbolism so overwrought, her material might well have been better served as a text-even given the film's abundant visual virtues (particularly its spectacular use of landscape).

June 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

The surface of Llosa's film may be placid, but the undercurrent of emotion is strong. She demonstrates exquisite control.

September 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Moving Pictures Magazine
Moving Pictures Magazine

In due course, the painstakingly composed cinematography seduces the viewer.

August 27, 2010 Full Review Source:

A troubling Peruvian film about how violence lingers in the minds, bodies, and souls of its victims.

August 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Heavily allegorical, frequently impenetrable and ultimately frustrating.

August 27, 2010 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

An evocative character study painting a grim, if visually-captivating, portrait of a tormented soul suffering in silence while delivering a powerful message about the consequences of rape radiating across generations like ripples on a pond.

August 26, 2010 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

An affecting, gracefully crafted Peruvian film that struggles to breathe under the weight of too much allegory and symbolism.

August 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Film Journal International | Comment (1)
Film Journal International

It is to Llosa's great credit that she has infused Fausta's awakening with dignity, and made her of a time, place, and conception not to be confused with any other.

August 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Movieline

If you accurately described each scene, you'd have a book of poetry. That's how detailed and vivid are The Milk of Sorrow's rhythms.

August 25, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Press
New York Press


August 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Film Threat | Comments (2)
Film Threat

(Director Claudia Llosa's) ability to articulate the complexities of the story, with its aesthetic and spiritual dimensions, is extraordinary for such a new talent.

August 9, 2010 Full Review Source:

A potato, whether metaphorical or not, would have conveyed far more meaning on a dinner plate of the poor, than inside a female orifice. And if the protagonist is meant to be distanced and alienated from history, must the filmmaker do so too.

June 28, 2010 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze | Comments (3)

Necessarily sombre in style, but with flashes of magic-realism sprinkled throughout, director Claudia Llosa makes admirable attempts to find beauty in her protagonist's upsetting circumstances...

May 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Scotsman

There can be no more beautifully shot or perfectly framed film out in London at the moment than Claudia Liosa's allegorical tale.

May 6, 2010 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Infused with local colour, this Peruvian film finds real resonance in its light handling of a personal journey. Without overstating its themes or sentimentalising the drama, filmmaker Llosa tells a story we'll never forget.

May 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Audience Reviews for The Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada)

A Peruvian girl believes that her raped mother's sorrow was transferred to her through breast milk. That intriguing premise is somewhat wasted in a slow and drawn out tale of the girl trying to raise money to bury her mother's corpse in her native village; it's most interesting for its peek at Peruvian folk beliefs and customs, including an unusual use for potatoes.
October 9, 2012
Greg S

Super Reviewer

The Milk Of Sorrow develops a complex story of abuse and recovery inspired by the events in Peruvian history circa 1980 to 1992 with aesthetic and metaphorical dimensions. Poetic writing, lush photography and a telling cinematography of rich local Peruvian colors.
September 10, 2011
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

A moving film, focusing on the belief that the trauma experienced by the many women raped during the years of terrorism in Peru has been passed on to the following generations. A solid story, relying on a very beautiful performance by Magaly Solier.
June 27, 2010

Super Reviewer

While participating in the rehearsal for her cousin Maxima's(Maria del Pilar Guerrero) wedding, Fausta(Magaly Solier) falls so ill that it cannot be explained by her usual nosebleeds. At the hospital, she is diagnosed with a potato in her vagina and does not want to be treated. As she tells her uncle Locido(Marino Ballon), she heard a story about a woman who did the same during the terror and was not raped. Fausta probably heard the story from her mother(Lucy Noriega), now deceased, who she has to find the funds to bury in her native village. To do so, Fausta gets a job at the Big House but does not get an advance on her wages.

What easily could have been on the level of a very silly episode of "House," instead turns out to be an understated allegory of Peru that is admittedly more than a little predictable. On the one hand, everybody seems to be getting married, leading to a worldwide fabric shortage and most people with little spending money. Or they are people like Fausta who carry the psychic baggage of past generations around with them. She is haunted from songs her mother used to sing, not transmitted through breast milk, which just goes to show you that there is some truth in myths.
September 21, 2011
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Eine Perle Ewigkeit (DE)
  • Fausta (FR)
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