Lágrimas Negras  (1998) from Tuna

Lagrimas Negras (1998), or Black Tears, is a Spanish romantic tragedy staring Ariadna Gil, who was cast against type, and gave a stellar performance. As a matter of fact, she was nominated for the best actress Goya.

Fele Martinez is living a nice life. He has a nice apartment, a nice fiancee (Elena Anya), and a nice job editing film and doing photography, which is exactly what he wants to be doing. After dropping his girlfriend off one night, he is kidnapped at gunpoint by Ariadna Gil, and her heroin addict girlfriend, Ana Risueño. Before they steal his car, they tie him up, and Gil has sex with him.

A few weeks later, his car turns up. One of the tires is flat, but nothing, including his camera, is missing. When he spots Gil in a video he is editing for a shrink, he learns that she is rich, but disturbed, and sets out to meet her. This leads inevitably to a sexual relationship. The question is, will this woman with a degenerative mental disorder be his ruin, or will he be her salvation? The more he learns about her sordid past, and the prognosis for her mental condition, the more determined he is to save her.


  • Ariadna Gil shows breasts in two scenes
  • Elena Anya shows breasts and buns in a sex scene.

Rocardo Franco, who co-wrote, started the film as the director, but died before the filming was completed. Fernando Bauluz took over the director's chair, but stayed true to Franco's vision. The cinematography was wonderful, with some breathtaking shots of the Portuguese coast, and interesting night shots of Madrid. Gil, who usually plays hip, attractive, witty leading ladies was absolutely brilliant as the deranged, often unkempt woman. Risueño was also very strong in her role, and Anya was more than believable.

In short, it is a very well made film.

It is only available on Region 2 DVD in Spain.

A tougher question is, will you enjoy it? I felt like Martinez was being stupid all along, and would have preferred a happier ending, but it did hold my attention the entire running time. If tragedy is your idea of good cinema, this is a very good one.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online.

The People Vote ...

  • It was shown at one Spanish Language film festival in the US, and is only available on Region 2 PAL from Spain.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a high C+.

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