What is the passion of Berenice (Martha Navarro)—a widow, teacher, and caretaker of her invalid godmother? “Hate,” she replies. “I know that very well. And I assure you, there’s nothing like it.” The object of her hate, as well as her lust, is Rodrigo (Pedro Armendáriz Jr.), the handsome son of her godmother’s doctor. Berenice is a character driven by contradictions and marked, literally, by mysteries. Writer/director Jaime Humberto Hermosillo is perversely uninterested in reconciling these contradictions: to reconcile them would be to dull them. Instead, via a coolly observational visual style and rigorous characterization, he keeps them disparate yet together.