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(aka "La vida precoz y breve de Sabina Rivas" or "The Precocious and Brief Life of Sabina Rivas")


directed by Luis Mandoki
Mexico 2012


From Mexican director Luis Mandoki - who had debut stateside with WHITE PALACE and then down a sliding scale of dreary romantic dramas from MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE and WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN, and ANGEL EYES to the low-key thriller TRAPPED - the Mexican-produced, largely Spanish-language SABINA RIVAS has no name stars and presents a hellish south of the border existence too gritty to be a mere backdrop for melodrama. As such, the interconnected stories of the eponymous underage stripper (Greisy Mena, POSTCARDS FROM LENINGRAD) whose dreams of crossing the border and becoming a famous singer in America are sure to be crushed, and her estranged boyfriend Jovany (Fernando Moreno, HERMANO) taking up with the violent Mara 13 gang who lurk in the jungle to pillage and murder those who are not picked up by immigration when they try to hop trains across the border find the viewer unconcerned about a love story in favor of whether they can and will escape their soul-killing existences. Sent across the border from Guatemala to Mexico to perform at the birthday of General Cossío(Dagoberto Gama, AMORES PERROS) by her boss Doña Lita (Angelina Peláez, MAN ON FIRE) at the underage strip club "Tijuanita", Sabina is stopped at immigration by "the gringo" immigration officer Patrick (Nick Chinlund, TRAINING DAY) who detains her and rapes her before sending her back to Guatemala. Running his own prostitution business supplying girls from the club to powerful persons, Patrick's Mexican colleague Burrona (Joaquín Cosio, QUANTUM OF SOLACE) offers to Doña Lita to take Sabina on to make amends. When Sabina makes a scene at a strip club where she tries to entertain the customers with her singing rather than lap dances, Burrona stops sending her to parties as an entertainer and assures her that all she will ever be is a prostitute. When Burrona realizes that Patrick has a weakness for Sabina, he tries to send her to him but Sabina refuses and (after a beating) decides that blackmail will be the only way for her to escape. When Burrona becomes embroiled in the plan for Patrick and the general to split up the territory between themselves and the Mara for the drug trade, Sabina joins a nomadic group of villagers who have already surmised that the Mara and the government are working together to tamp down any opposition and are determined to flee north at any cost.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 9 November 2012 (Mexico)

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DVD Review: Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:50:28 (4% PAL speedup)

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.48 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Simply Media

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
� none

DVD Release Date: January 18th, 2016

Chapters 12





Simply Media's dual-layer disc presents a serviceable but unspectacular anamorphic transfer of this Super 35mm-lensed film which often has a flat, video look. The audio is available in Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo with optional subtitles provided for the Spanish dialogue (there is some English dialogue). There are no extras or start-up material.

  - Eric Cotenas


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:


Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL



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