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The Burning Plain a.k.a. “Ask atesi,” “Il confine della solitudine,” “Lejos de la tierra quemada,” “Loin de la terre brûlée,” “Ta synora tis monaxias”

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for sexuality, nudity and language.
not reviewed
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Romance, Mystery, Drama
1 hr. 46 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
September 18, 2009 (limited—21 theaters)
DVD: January 12, 2010
Copyright, Magnolia Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Magnolia Pictures

Where did cancer come from? Answer

How did bad things come about? Answer

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

What kind of world would you create? Answer

Death and funerals

Death in the Bible

Funerals in the Bible

Burial in the Bible

BIBLICAL BURIAL SITES—Have the burial sites of any people in the Bible been found? Answer

What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Love and sex

Lust in the Bible

Fornication in the Bible

Adultery in the Bible

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.

Sin and the Bible

FORGIVENESS—How can I be and feel forgiven? Answer

GUILT—If God forgives me every time I ask, why do I still feel so guilty? Answer

Forgiveness of sin

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer

How good is good enough? Answer


Women in the Bible

Biblical women with admirable character, include: Mrs. Noah, Mary (mother of Jesus), Esther, Deborah, and Milcah, daugher of Zelophehad.

Featuring: Charlize Theron (Sylvia), Kim Basinger (Gina), Jennifer Lawrence (Mariana), José María Yazpik (Carlos), Joaquim de Almeida (Nick), Tessa Ia (Maria), Diego J. Torres (Cristobal), J.D. Pardo (Young Santiago), Danny Pino (Santiago), John Corbett (John), Brett Cullen (Robert), Anthony Escobar (Priest), Gray Eubank (Lawrence), Rafael Hernández (Doctor Armendariz), Toni Marie Lopez (The woman), Sean McGrath (Scott), Cesar Miramontes (Plaza street vendor), Marty Papazian (Young Man), TJ Plunkett (Pat), Chris Ranney (Grocery Shopper), Aide Rodriguez (Operator), Fernanda Romero (Sophie), Kacie Thomas (Vivi), Rachel Ticotin (Ana), Robin Tunney (Laura), Malcolm Ullery (Priest’s helper), Stacy Marie Warden (Monnie), Taylor Warden (Bobby), Joe Dustin (Young Man’s Collegue—uncredited), Rich Gill (Neighbor—uncredited)
Guillermo Arriaga
Babel” (writer)
21 Grams” (writer)
Producer: 2929 Productions, Costa Films, Parkes/MacDonald Productions, Ray Angelic, Marc Butan, Eduardo Costantini, Mark Cuban, Beth Kono, Laurie MacDonald, Walter F. Parkes, Alisa Tager, Charlize Theron, Todd Wagner, Adrian Zurita
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

“Love heals. Love absolves. Love burns.”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “THE BURNING PLAIN is a romantic mystery about a woman on the edge who takes an emotional journey back to the defining moment of her life. Oscar-winner Charlize Theron plays Sylvia, a beautiful restaurant manager whose cool, professional demeanor masks the sexually charged storm within. When a stranger from Mexico confronts her with her mysterious past, Sylvia is launched into a journey through space and time that inextricably connects her to these disparate characters, all of whom are grappling with their own romantic destinies.

In Mexico, a young motherless girl, Maria (Tessa Ia), lives happily with her father and his best friend until a tragic accident changes it all. In the New Mexico border town of Las Cruces, two teenagers, Mariana (Jennifer Lawrence) and Santiago (JD Pardo), find love in the aftermath of their parents’ sudden deaths. In an abandoned trailer, a housewife, Gina (Oscar-winner Kim Basinger), embarks on a passionate affair that will put Sylvia and the others on a collision course with the explosive power of forbidden love.”

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See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments


Negative—The movie glorified sexual encounters outside of marriage. Language was offensive, as well as nudity, etc.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
Dan B, age 58 (USA)
Movie Critics
…While the drama is compelling with strong Christian content, the movie’s lewd scenes and nudity are excessive. …
…Multicharacter head-scratcher, yo-yoing between New Mexico and Oregon, and back and forth in time, doesn’t finally reveal much beneath the emperor’s clothes to repay viewers’ concentration during the first half. Despite an OK-to-good cast led by Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger, plus a handsome tech package, this remains an elaborate writing exercise with few emotional hooks. …
Derek Elley, Variety
…It’s an erotic mystery about a jaded woman, played with gloomy intensity by Charlize Theron. … What’s irritating is how much we have to do to readjust the perspective on entire chapters. Not just between the different, almost unfathomable, strands of the tale, but timewise, between past and present. … [3/5]
James Christopher, The London Times
…a contrived and trite story with a contrived narrative structure, the theory being that viewers will be so impressed they figured it out that they’ll believe it’s a work of art. …
Peter Keough, The Boston Phoenix
…The scenery (prettily captured by “There Will Be Blood” cinematographer Robert Elswit) is littered with heavy symbolism (fire! rain! dead birds!); the performances are merely heavy. … [D+]
Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
…The burning is mostly on the plain, not in this labyrinthine story… the two actresses' sensitive performances don’t make the emotional connection to audiences that the story yearns for. …
Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
…Told chronologically, it might have accumulated considerable power. Told as a labyrinthine tangle of intercut timelines and locations, it is a frustrating exercise in self-indulgence by writer-director Guillermo Arriaga. … [2½/4]
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times