The great irony of “Hueso” is in Aaron Soto and Cathy Alberich as the sour-faced parents of a young pig-tailed daughter (Cinthya Salcida Soto) left to her own devices and by that turn, who can say that she’s wrong about what she does? She certainly wouldn’t bother communicating with the two because they look down upon her as if she’s just another little girl in Tijuana, no more their daughter than an old tire leaning against a wire pole. She collects bones. She puts clothes on bones, makes them into horses in one of the scenes she makes out of glue, paper, and other art supplies that might very well be laying about in her room because after all, she’s exactly that kind of girl detached enough from the world to where creating something else removed from her own home life is best.
Why bones? To her, bones are solid, they’re inside humans and animals. They can crack and break, but they’re always there, moreso than her parents. A music score as aloof as the girl makes this point known since this is all she has in her empty life. This is her mode of creativity, this is what she studies. There’s no social circle for her to enter at her school. She’s constantly, and quietly rejected.
Soto and Alberich make all this ironic because while their parental acting alienates their on-screen daughter, they are the writers, producers, and directors of this. Soto is also the director of photography and editor and the most substantial contribution is given through him. Parts of Tijuana are washed out through his lens, browned, drained of colors you’d expect to see here. It is his and Alberich’s creative minds that has everything reflect the girl’s feelings. He also edits a dream sequence and deep dark thoughts in the most dramatic and frantic way possible. Sentimentality doesn’t have its place here and that’s where “Hueso” scoops up the most honesty. Growing up is hard. Lots of influences about. Just pick your path and fiercely abide by its turns and rocky edges. Sometimes that’s all one can do and that’s most apparent in “Hueso.” It is somber, it is reflective and it wraps around you like the tango, though far more slowly and darkly.