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Protean filmmaker Nicolás Pereda always takes viewers on zigzag narratives whose complexities belie the sedentary nature of the characters at their center. His alternately ticklish and dark-toned latest feature mixes realism and light absurdity in the story of a young television actress who joins her estranged brother and new boyfriend—also an actor, though he has yet to graduate from bit player—to visit her family at her parents’ rustic home in the Mexican countryside. There, the couple deals with culture clash and familial rivalries, but Pereda has a metafictional trick up his sleeve that reveals the grim intimations of violence bubbling under the community. Fauna, taking its title from one of its characters, is a clever and entertaining inquiry into performance and the stories we tell.
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