The Milk of Sorrow (2009) Poster

The Milk of Sorrow (2009)

  • Rate: 6.6/10 total 3,061 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Music
  • Release Date: 13 February 2009 (Spain)
  • Runtime: Argentina:95 min | Germany:94 min (Berlin International Film Festival) | USA:94 min
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The Milk of Sorrow (2009)


The Milk of Sorrow 2009tt1206488.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Milk of Sorrow (2009)
  • Rate: 6.6/10 total 3,061 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Music
  • Release Date: 13 February 2009 (Spain)
  • Runtime: Argentina:95 min | Germany:94 min (Berlin International Film Festival) | USA:94 min
  • Filming Location: Lima, Peru
  • Gross: $10,376(USA)(26 September 2010)
  • Director: Claudia Llosa
  • Stars: Magaly Solier, Susi Sánchez and Efraín Solís
  • Original Music By: Selma Mutal   
  • Soundtrack: Tapón
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Milk | Pregnancy | Fear | Suffering | Death

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Claudia Llosa  written by

Known Trivia

  • The literal translation of the film’s original Spanish title is “The Frightened Tit”.
  • Peru’s official submission to 82nd Academy Award’s Foreign Language in 2010.
  • Magaly Solier used to be a street seller of Puca picante (Andean treat) before she was discovered by Claudia Llosa in 2005 while looking for extras fro Madeinusa (her first film). Now she’s a recognized actress and talented singer.
  • Most of the filming locations are set in Manchay, an impoverished suburban area in Pachacamac, south-east of Lima, that indigenous people invaded during 1980s to escape from terrorism, and next to a high-class area from Lima, Cieneguilla

Plot: Fausta is suffering from a rare disease called the Milk of Sorrow, which is transmitted through the… See more » |  »

Story: Fausta is suffering from a rare disease called the Milk of Sorrow, which is transmitted through the breast milk of pregnant women who were abused or raped during or soon after pregnancy. While living in constant fear and confusion due to this disease, she must face the sudden death of her mother. She chooses to take drastic measures to not follow in her mother's footsteps.Written by Pusan International Film Festival  

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Marina Charún known as delegate producer
  • Antonio Chavarrías known as producer
  • Claudia Llosa known as producer
  • Àngels Masclans known as delegate producer
  • José María Morales known as producer
  • Miguel Morales known as delegate producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Magaly Solier known as Fausta
  • Susi Sánchez known as Aída
  • Efraín Solís known as Noé
  • Bárbara Lazón known as Perpetua
  • Delci Heredia known as Carmela
  • Karla Heredia known as Severina
  • Fernando Caycho known as Melvin
  • Miller Revilla Chengay known as Melvincito
  • Spencer Salazar known as Jonathan
  • Summy Lapa known as Chicho
  • María del Pilar Guerrero known as Máxima
  • Leandro Mostorino known as Jhonny
  • Anita Chaquiri known as Abuela
  • Edward Llungo known as Marcos
  • Daniel Núñez known as Amadeo
  • Lucy Noriega known as Perpetua
  • Yostin Caycho known as Soldadito 1
  • Anthony Caycho known as Soldadito 2
  • Marco Antonio Ramírez known as Soldadito 3
  • Doris María Ramírez known as Soldadito 4
  • Antolín Prieto known as Hijo de Aída
  • Andrés Díaz known as Heladero
  • Iván Luyo known as Locutor
  • Carlos Herrera known as Doctor
  • Eva Paniccia known as Vendedor ataúd 1
  • Arturo Montoya known as Vendedor ataúd 2
  • Silvia Núñez known as Vendedor ataúd 3
  • Estefano Cuya known as Bebé tienda ataúd
  • Aquilina Casas known as Fina
  • Marco Antonio Alegría known as Vendedor de pasajes
  • Fortunato Urcuhuaranga known as Maestro vidriero
  • Rosa López known as Enfermera
  • Guillermo Rojas Burga known as Taxista
  • Marino Ballón known as Tío Lúcido



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Neri Gallardo known as assistant hair stylist
  • Neri Gallardo known as assistant makeup artist
  • Lucía Salomón known as makeup artist

Art Department:

  • Tomás Bocanegra known as carpenter
  • Juan Estrada known as painter
  • Orlando Saldaha known as painter




Production Companies:

  • Institut Català de les Indústries Culturals
  • Ministerio de Educación y Cultura (ICAA)
  • Oberón Cinematográfica
  • Televisió de Catalunya (TV3)
  • Televisión Española (TVE)
  • Vela Producciones
  • Wanda Visión S.A.

Other Companies:

  • Visions Sud Est  funding
  • World Cinema Fund  funding


  • Arte Cinema (2009) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Jour2Fête (2009) (France) (theatrical)
  • Moonlight Films (2009) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Olive Films (2010) (USA) (theatrical) (subtitled)
  • Tofoo (2011) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • trigon-film (2009) (Switzerland) (theatrical)
  • Arthouse Traffic (2010) (Ukraine) (all media)
  • Canana Films (2009) (Mexico) (all media)
  • Dogwoof Pictures (2009) (UK) (all media)
  • Film1 (2010) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited)
  • Midas Filmes (2010) (Portugal) (all media)
  • OMC (2009) (Taiwan) (all media)
  • Odeon (2009) (Greece) (all media)
  • Olive Films (2010) (Canada) (all media)
  • Orlando Films (2009) (Israel) (all media)
  • Paris Filmes (2009) (Brazil) (all media)
  • good movies! (2010) (Germany) (DVD)
  • trigon-film (2009) (Switzerland) (DVD) (special edition)



Other Stuff

Release Date:
  • Germany 12 February 2009 (Berlin International Film Festival)
  • Spain 13 February 2009
  • Peru 12 March 2009
  • Turkey 4 April 2009 (Istanbul Film Festival)
  • Argentina 9 April 2009
  • Denmark 18 April 2009 (CPHPIX Festival)
  • Italy 8 May 2009
  • France 17 June 2009
  • Switzerland 17 June 2009 (French speaking region)
  • Czech Republic 6 July 2009 (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival)
  • Croatia 27 July 2009 (Motovun Film Festival)
  • Brazil 28 August 2009
  • Austria 4 September 2009
  • Taiwan 4 September 2009
  • Sweden 11 September 2009
  • Philippines October 2009 (Cinemanila International Film Festival)
  • Canada 1 October 2009 (Vancouver International Film Festival)
  • Switzerland 1 October 2009 (German speaking region)
  • South Korea 12 October 2009 (Pusan International Film Festival)
  • Colombia 16 October 2009
  • Norway 16 October 2009
  • UK 19 October 2009 (London Film Festival)
  • Hungary 29 October 2009
  • USA 31 October 2009 (AFI Film Festival)
  • Germany 5 November 2009
  • Poland 19 November 2009 (Festiwal Filmy Swiata ale kino!)
  • Greece 21 November 2009 (Thessaloniki International Film Festival)
  • Netherlands 3 December 2009
  • United Arab Emirates 11 December 2009 (Dubai International Film Festival)
  • Poland 1 January 2010
  • USA 9 January 2010 (Palm Springs International Film Festival)
  • Mexico 15 January 2010
  • Greece 25 February 2010
  • Panama 7 May 2010
  • Denmark 20 May 2010
  • USA 21 May 2010 (Seattle International Film Festival)
  • Slovenia 10 June 2010
  • Portugal 1 July 2010
  • South Africa 26 July 2010 (Durban International Film Festival)
  • USA 27 August 2010 (New York City, New York)
  • Philippines 1 October 2010 (Pelicula Pelikula Spanish Film Festival)
  • Japan 2 April 2011
  • Japan 8 September 2011 (Aichi International Women's Film Festival)



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , .


  1. intravenosa from Germany
    30 Mar 2012, 12:43 pm

    Our heroine is called Fausta, a girl who is full of fear. "The Milk ofSorrow" or, more exactly "The Frightened Tit" is, in thePeruvian-indigenous tradition, an illness, is being condemned to be acoward. Peru's late History was influenced by guerrilla's warfare andstate brutality. Women (like Fausta's mother) were raped, and rapedwomen got sick… of fear. through her mother's milk Fausta is afraidof life, but she is by no mean a coward, because after her mother dies,her struggle is by herself. This movie is beautiful, it combines avery, very strong performance from Magaly Solier, and a universal humanstruggle in a very typical Latin American city.

  2. gardieca ( from Spain
    30 Mar 2012, 12:43 pm

    Winner of the first award at the Berlinale, La teta asustada is thesecond film made by Claudia Llosa, director of the brilliant and exoticMadeinusa. The movie shows an interesting picture of a village in Peru,the life of a family, the things they do to earn a living, and thefears of Fausta, a girl whose mother taught her the power of songs tosend away tears.Fausta keeps a secret, and she wants no one to discoverit. Meanwhile, he tries to save money to make a wish come true.MagalySolier plays a gorgeous role, like she did in Madeinusa, and makes usshare her feelings through her eyes and her voice. Besides, the filmshows the customs of a family and the way every member helps doing hisbest with a smile. Don't miss it.

  3. dg-op from Los Girasoles, Chaclacayo, Lima, Perú.
    30 Mar 2012, 12:43 pm

    Young director Claudia Llosa (Madeinusa) has won the Golden Bear and adozen of other prizes around the world for her second work, Thefrightened tit, its original Spanish tittle.

    Though the plot itself may seem awkward, the movie is a group of 95minutes rich and beautiful images. The pearls, the potato, the dog, thewedding, the impoverished suburban Lima, everything is accuratelydirected and carefully thought by Ms. Llosa.

    Fausta (outstanding Magaly Solier) is suffering from The frightenedtit, an illness that she caught through her mother's breast-milk sinceshe was raped in her pregnancy during the 1980s and 90s guerrilla andterrorism in the Andes. Now in Lima, Fausta is afraid, she's put apotato in her vagina in order to protect her from raping, and after hermother dies she finally has to deal with the real life and face herfears,starting to work in a high- class house as a made.

    The plot of the movie is fictitious, but it lies on a cruel and pastreality of Peru's modern history, combining it with a delicate halo ofsurrealism, magic realism and sometimes ironic humor. The image of thepotato -all time Peruvian ingredient for cuisine- involves the subjectof a war and a fear that affected an entire country, though ourdifferences may not accepted it yet. The scenes in Fausta's home arethe opposite where she works: though the high-class house is in thesame impoverished area (another reference to Peruvian socialdifferences), over there is no gray, no dust: there are plants, color,life.

    At the end, Fausta realizes that in the root of her fears is thesolution of them. The movie, indeed, is presented as a cure for theunhealed wounds of a terrible and recent war that happened on Peruviansoil.

  4. Pitumisio from Barcelona, Spain
    30 Mar 2012, 12:43 pm

    A realistic portrayal of the impoverished suburbia of Lima, Peru is theframe-set for this fantastic story. Fausta, daughter of a woman rapedby terrorists some 25 years ago, assists her mother's death and decidesto take her remains back to her hometown, in the high Andes. But, apartfrom having to work hard to collect the money she needs for it, Faustahas a reason, deep inside, that prevents her from enjoying life oraccepting her outstanding physical beauty as a normal girl.

    Mastery at low-budget cinematic skill should be credited to Bollywood(the Mumbai-based Hindi language film industry) films, which may not bethe most groundbreaking in technical or screen writing terms, butcontain music in the form of song-and-dance numbers woven into thescript in order to appeal to all segments of the audience and maximisebox office receipts. Since Hollywood's multi-million budgets wouldnever have helped shoot realistic and colourful, but rough Brazilianimagery, 'Central Station' (1998) and 'Cidade de Deus' (2002) garneredindisputable acclaim at renowned film festivals after being funded ontheir own. The example set by off-Hollywood movie makers' efforts havebecome heroic in countries where movie industry budgets are, to say theleast, scarce.

    This is the case for LTA. It could have been more on par to DannyBoyle's 'Slumdog Millionaire' if it wasn't for the Peruvian-Spanishmeagre budget available to Peruvian young director Claudia Llosa. Ifyou expect to see acting beaus or beautés, famous screenwriters andcrew, expensive car explosions or CGI, go elsewhere. LTA is neatmagic-realism, a territory where people may be poor but not disgusting,where their houses are mere recreation centres for fantasy and everydaylife to play happily together. Only time will tell if the trend keepsup, spreads globally, and ends up being called Globbywood.

    This is a well-told tale of hope where only two professional actors areinvolved. And this was as clear to Berlinale judges as it is for thegeneral public -those with a thirst for veritable, honest, wittycraftsmanship at film-making.

  5. kosmasp
    30 Mar 2012, 12:43 pm

    I can see that or why many people will like this movie. There is thevery great portrayal of the main actress, there is running theme inhere that speaks to many art-house fans (even those who may not knowthat they are).

    The pacing might seem awkward, some twists in the story line and/orcharacter arc, might not be accessible to some viewers, but all thosethings make the movie even better. At least that's how I see it. Stillas this is a movie that provokes or encourages you to think a lot,there might come up a few questions, story-wise and or character-wisethat might leave you with a slightly bad taste.

    And although up until now the review the user GeneralGrievous gavehasn't received positive feedback, you have to cut the guy some slack.If you read his review, you can understand why he didn't like the moviequite as much. I thought his review was helpful, even though I don'tagree on everything he writes, because he explains not only why hethinks that way, but he gives a few glimpses into his knowledge ofPeruvian film-making.

  6. Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    30 Mar 2012, 12:43 pm

    Fausta Isidora (Magaly Solier) is a weird young woman that livespermanently scared in a poor community in Lima. Her mother was raped bymany men when she was pregnant of Fausta, and raised her daughter witha morbid fear of men. When her mother dies, Fausta has a bleeding andfaints. Her uncle takes her to the doctor that finds that she keeps apotato inside her vagina to protect her against intercourse. Her uncletells to the doctor that in accordance with the lore of the locals, shehas a disease called "La Teta Assustada" (meaning "The Frightened Teat"in English) transmitted by the milk of an abused pregnant woman. Faustadecides to bury her mother in her home village, but neither she nor heruncle has the necessary amount for the coffin and the transportation.Fausta starts working as housemaid in the manor of a pianist to raisethe necessary money; she befriends the gardener that helps her andFausta finally resolves her issues.

    "La Teta Assustada" is an exotic but boring and unpleasant low budgetmovie. The story is developed in slow-pace and probably will pleaseviewers of the First World that maybe have never seen a slum and poorpeople like the dweller of Fausta's community. Magaly Solier has agreat performance and her exotic beauty is impressive. The translationof the title of this film to English ("The Milk of Sorrow") isridiculous since the correct translation would be "The FrightenedTeat". The summary in IMDb from Pusan International Film Festival isridiculous and the author has certainly not understood the story; ormaybe the translation from Spanish was wrong. My vote is six.

    Title (Brazil): "A Teta Assustada" ("The Frightened Teat")

  7. yiuclaudia from Hong Kong
    30 Mar 2012, 12:43 pm

    I was so touched by this film, which is obviously a low budgetproduction. It proves that you do not need a multi-billion budget tomake a good movie. I think only women can understand fully the pain andthe fear the heroine had to go through. I wonder if they produce asound track for the movie. The songs by the heroine and that sonataadopted by the pianist were beautiful. Solier is a great actress andher facial features, well, what can I say, is not the kind of glamouryou find on screens. She has character, reflecting her heritage. Iimmediately take a liking of her from the first few scenes.I It isdisturbing to find people snubbing such a beautiful movie but I guesseveryone to his/her tase.

  8. jotix100 from New York
    30 Mar 2012, 12:43 pm

    Fausta, the young Peruvian of Indian extraction, is suffering from astrange malady. When taken to a clinic to be examined, the doctorexamining her, determines she has a growth in her vagina, he comparesit to having a potato growing up inside her. The uncle explains to thedoctor it is a condition deemed to be 'the milk of sorrow', somethingthat was passed from her mother as she breast-fed Fausta when she wasan infant. Many women were violated by the rebel groups that preyed onthe Indian communities. In order to prevent being violated Fausta iscarrying a potato in her vagina, something the science man cannot beginto imagine.

    As the story begins, we see her with her mother who is singing astrange song, in Quechuan. Nothing seems to indicate she is sufferingfrom an illness, but as the singing stops, the lady dies. Fausta isshocked when she realizes what has just happened. After accepting thefact about her mother, she must bury her. The uncle has already startedto dig a spot in back of the house to serve as a tomb. Fausta does nothave a lot of money. A visit to the undertakers prove to be useless,for she cannot afford to even buy the cheapest kind of funeral. Inspite of that, Fausta and the women relatives, prepare the body bywrapping it in a sort of a shroud.

    With the problem still at hand, Fausta is engaged as a maid in the homeof a lady pianist. Her instructions are not to let any strangers in thehouse. The place is adjacent to what seems to be a public market.Fausta, a shy woman is amazed by what she finds in the fancy home, butshe never gets close to the lady of the house. The breaking of a stringof pearls, brings the maid to help the lady, who promises to giveFausta the pearls, eventually. The only person that is closer to thegirl is the gardener, a man that, at times ogles the young girl withmore than necessary, but nothing happens between them.

    We witness a few garish weddings happening at the compound whereFausta's uncle lives. The family makes extra money by preparing theseweddings, catering them, and providing entertainment. Sometimes Faustahelps serve the guests. After Fausta gets the pearls, her desire tobury the mother comes a possibility. We watch her and the relatives asthey travel to a desert near the Pacific. Fausta knows exactly wherewill be her mother's resting place. The final shots of the film arefull of symbolism. Fausta finds a small pot where two potatoes haveflowered into a small plant.

    Claudia LLosa, the Peruvian creator of this film, sets her film amongthe poor classes in a Lima suburb populated by the destitute. The placeis not a ghetto, by any means, the only thing in common with that,would be the poor housing where the people in the story live. The areais located in hills with steep stairs that are used by the locals tocome to town. Fausta is a symbol of the oppressed classes byrepresenting a small part of that culture. Ignorance and superstitionare rampant among the population, where even a doctor is questionedwhen it is evident Fausta has something that will lead to a biggerproblem if not treated properly.

    In Magaly Solier, Ms. LLosa has found a girl that personifies the typeof individual she is supposed to be. Not having seen this actressbefore, or for that matter, any of the cast, seems to be a triumph forthe director in getting the results she wanted to present. Thecharacter of Fausta is an enigma to most viewers. She is an aloofpresence in the film. It is through her eyes the story is seen.

    Natasha Braier, the cinematographer captured the dreary locales inwhich the film is set with somber reverence. The music is by SelmaMutal, relying in the type of musical influence from the group at thecenter of the story. Ms. LLosa's film is highly feminine, showing aninnate talent for great things to come.

  9. gregking4 from Australia
    30 Mar 2012, 12:43 pm

    Claudia Llosa's drama The Milk Of Sorrow is an award winning film thathas toured the festival circuit and was also Peru's entry for the 2010Foreign Language Oscar. The central character here is Fausta (played byMagaly Solier), who has grown up hearing her mother's horror storiesabout rape and the atrocities committed curing the violent 1980's inher native Peru. Traumatised and sexually repressed, she plants apotato in her vagina, which is meant to ward off potential rapists.Fausta has been suckled on "the milk of sorrow", which basically meansthat the horrors endured by her mother whilst Fausta was in the wombhave been transmitted on to her through breast milk. When her motherdies, Fausta has to try and raise some money in order to transport thebody back to her home village and pay for the funeral. She lands a jobas a maid to the imperious and emotionally stolid Mrs Aida (SusiSanchez), a singer preparing for a concert. The dark and eerie home onthe outskirts of the city is symbolic of Mrs Aida's own sterile andempty life. When the woman hears the shy Fausta sing, she offers herpearls from one of her necklaces in exchange for the occasional song.Fausta also strikes up a friendship with the gardener Noe (EfrainSolis), who shares his passion for flowers with her. The garden is ametaphor for growth and freedom, and becomes hugely symbolic as Faustaslowly begins to reconnect with the world and discovers that even themost withdrawn and traumatised of women can flourish. The Milk OfSorrow is the second film from director Llosa, and she handles thematerial with restraint. Llosa draws a strong and surprising contrastbetween the humour and beauty of life in the slums and the fear andisolation that permeate life in the city. The film also offers someinsights into the culture, traditions and superstitions of village lifein contemporary Peru. Peru's recent history of violence, particularlyunder the Shining Path, and war inform this contemporary drama, and theevents of the past cast a muted shadow over the events. Even thoughthese horrors are a distant memory for most they still resonatestrongly for many of the characters here. Solier, who also appeared inthe director's first film Madeinusa, gives an understated performanceas Fausta. Natasha Baiers' cinematography is beautiful, and SelmaMutais' haunting music score enriches the film. However, the film islanguidly paced, and its slow pace means that many in the audience willfail to connect emotionally with Fausta's journey. It is easy foraudiences to somehow remain detached from the whole thing.

  10. jamieperu from Lima, Peru
    30 Mar 2012, 12:43 pm

    (This comment lists potential spoilers in so far as vague descriptionsas to how the movie ends).

    As an American living in Lima, Peru for 2 years, I try hard to immersemyself in the language and culture here – as many expatriates also do.I think native Peruvians may see this film as not having anoverwhelming theme or not ending with definitive answers to difficultissues.

    What I think this film does do very well is give a unique perspectiveinto the life of a class of person that many middle and upper classpeople are curious about. For me it was a slice of a person's life inwhich I could experience first-hand, alongside the protagonist. It isunlikely that in real life, could I visit these same places, step intotheir houses, share their conversations and experience their mostintimate thoughts.

    Personally I like the fact that the film does not close with a sense ofsome deep satisfaction that a difficulty has been resolved and peopleare now free to live with closure. Often times this can give anaudience false assurance that all is well, no need to act, everythingis now OK, if the problem can be resolved in the movie, it will takecare of itself in reality. Instead, Llosa gives us a mere slice of lifefor these Peruvian characters and it is up to the audience to decide ifor how to participate solving these issues in reality, and those issuesare many fold.

    The budget was not expansive, but the true beauty was the characters.This is a movie where I believe Llosa didn't intend to spell everythingout, but make the viewer have to think and ask questions.

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