Elevate Difference

Daniel & Ana

Daniel & Ana is an opinion piece, the film equivalent of an op-ed. While it is a forgone assumption that a film will represent the opinion of its authors and that every film necessarily adopts a particular point-of-view on its subjects, Daniel & Ana endorses a position.

Daniel & Ana assumes an expository stance, occupying the characters lives in an effort to discuss an issue bigger than they are. This film discusses underground pornography; the analysis is not on the macro level of an industry or the societal impact of the industry on Mexico, but rather on the micro level, this is a case study of this particular pair of siblings.

The course of the film follows the older sister Ana, as she prepares for her wedding, and trails the younger brother Daniel as he exists, for the most part, in his sister’s wake. For most of the film, their relationship is relatively normal. When the siblings begin behaving oddly, their parents suspect nothing, seeing the strains in the siblings’ relationship as a result of the wedding, and nothing more. Ana and Daniel are nothing if not predictable.

While Ana is the central character, the film revolving most directly around the events in her life (despite the parallel surveillance of Daniel), she is not fully formed as a character. Ana is object more than she is subject. Not only is Ana objectified as a sightly woman throughout: not only by the comments of Daniel’s friend saying that she is doable and of the cameraman for the porno saying she is hot; not only by her rape which is a sort of ultimate objectification; but, by the movie itself, by the shallow presentation of her character. In this film Ana is only ever acted upon. As dutiful sister, daughter, and girlfriend, she only causes concern when she temporarily cancels the wedding. The wedding sets the tone of the piece, it determines what is normal, what roles each character is to play, and what behaviors are acceptable. Ana reinstates the wedding in a search for refuge; the wedding is a return to normalcy and an escape from everything else. Everything will end with the wedding.

Written by: Elisheva Zakheim, August 27th 2010