Las buenas hierbas

dir. María Novaro




A tale about brain chemistry, plant chemistry and human emotions. It shows the invisible connections that join the living with ther gone loved ones, of nature, who sorrounds all of us and to which we belong. Our unbrekeable bonds and inevitable partings. Our herbal mexican heritage and of the ancient knowleadge of certain plans that help healing the soul.

Director / María Novaro Screenplay / María Novaro Production / Julio Barcénas, María Novaro, Eric Reid Cinematography / Gerardo Barroso Editing / Sebastián Garza, María Novaro Sound / Alejandro de Icaza Visual Effects / Lisa Tillinger, Alejandro Valle Cast / Úrsula Pruneda, Ofelia Medina, Ana Ofelia Murguía, Cosmo González Muñoz, Gabino Rodríguez, Miriam Balderas, Alberto Estrella, Luisa Pardo, Rodrigo Solis

Ficción, min.

María Novaro

Mexico City, 1951. Director, screenwriter, film editor and producer. She was among the first generation of female filmmakers to graduate from a film school in Mexico. She has made five feature films and fourteen short films. Within the Mexican film industry, she has been a cinematographer, sound mixer, director, screenwriter and editor. Today, Novaro is one of the best known Mexican filmmakers to come out of the New Mexican Cinema and her films express Millian's idea of cinema in feminine. María Novaro studied sociology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM. After gaining some interest in filmmaking she decided to study film at the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos based in UNAM. In 1981, while at the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos, she made her first short films Lavaderos, sobre las olas and De encaje y azúcar all on a super 8 camera. Later became a member of the Cine Mujer collective, which was a women's film collective interested in women's stories and creating opportunities for women in the Mexican film industry, and who joins her countryman and fellow director Jaime Humberto Hermosillo in her desire to make films that contemplate the macho-dominated culture of Mexico— she from the feminine perspective (not feminist, she insists), he from the homosexual one. It is this collective in which Novaro directed Es la Primera Vez in 1981. Maria Novaro started her career in the Mexican film industry as a cinematographer and sound mixer. It was only after she worked as an assistant director for the Alberto Cortés film Amor a la Vuelta de la Esquina (1985) that she decided to make her short film Una Isla Rodeada de Agua (1985). This short was a feminist adaptation of the famous Mexican novel Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo. In this short film, a young girl goes on a journey to the Guerrero coast in search for a mother that abandoned her. The theme of a female protagonist on a journey through contemporary Mexico in search of something or someone is established in this short film and is carried out throughout her films. Her next short Azul Celeste (1987) told the story of a pregnant woman looking for her baby's father in Mexico City. This story carried over into her first feature film Lola (1989). Novaro has said that the work of Andrei Tarkovsky, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Theodoros Angelopoulos inspired her narrative style particularly the way she sees her film story as poetry and not dramaturgy. She has also mentioned that the most important thing to consider as a director is to be able to hear your own voice within your film. She cites Ingmar Bergman in an interview saying “that when a director no longer hears his internal voice he’s lost”. While Novaro does not see herself as a feminist her “subjects have a conscience of gender and act in accordance”. The recurrence of themes such as motherhood, female friendship and absent males provides an establishment of the protagonist turning to her fellow women for help and guidance. Novaro has also stated that in each film she has sought to tell the stories of one of the many Mexicos that exist. She is the scriptwriter of all her films; three of them were written in collaboration with his sister Beatriz Novaro. She has also been an editor and producer. She is currently reworking “La Lista”, a script that won the 1996 Cosme Alves Neto Award in Brazil for the best Latin American screenplay but never had the chance to film. Other projects that she failed to carry out in her difficult time during the second half of the 90s were: a film adaptation of Carlos Montemayor's novel, “Guerra en el paraíso”, and a screenplay by Rosa Nissan and Beatriz Novaro entitled “Suculentas” (based in Nissan's novel: The Journeys of My Body.) She has had a successful career in film teaching since 1996, teaching courses and workshops at CUEC, CCC (Cinematographic Training Center), at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, the University of Texas, Columbia University, SAE Institute-Mexico and in several Mexican states such as Chiapas, Sonora, and Nuevo León. She has thus contributed to the formation of several generations of filmmakers in Mexico. In 2006 he founded (along with a group of young filmmakers who graduated from the CCC and his former students) the production house Axolote Cine which to date has produced “Los Últimos Cristeros”, “Wadley” and “El Calambre”, by Matías Meyer, “Tormentero” and “Cephalopod”, by Rubén Imaz, “Strange but true”, and “Malaventura”, by Michel Lipkes, “Calle López” by Gerardo Barroso and Lisa Tillinger, “Mosca” and “La Nación Interior”, by Bulmaro Osornio, “Las Marimbas del Infierno”, by Julio Hernández. Axolote Cine was also the producer of “Las buenas hierbas”. In 2007 she produced, together with Laura Imperiale, the film “Quemar las naves” by Francisco Franco Alba. For her most recent film, “Treasures”, she founded the Cine Ermitaño production house. Among the acknowledgments to her work are: the Guggenheim Scholarship (2005), the Gateways Grant (2003), the Rockefeller-MacArthur Scholarship (1992–93) and she has been a member of the National System of Creators in Mexico in several periods. Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (USA), the Film Academy of Spain and AMACC in Mexico. Retrospectives and tributes to her work have been made; at Casa de América, Madrid (2010), a Tribute to her Artistic Career at the Monterrey Festival (2009), the MUSA recognition granted by Mujeres en la Cine y la Televisión A.C. (within the framework of the International Film Festival of Guanajuato, 2013) and a retrospective exhibition shared with Werner Herzog and Apichatpong Weerasethakul within the Film Festival in Kerala, India (2010), among others. She has 3 children (Mara, Santiago, and Lucero) and 3 grandchildren (Andrea, Dylan and Jacinta), and she always includes them in her curriculum.


  • 2017 — Tesoros
  • 2010 — Las buenas hierbas
  • 2006 — La morena
  • 2006 — Traducción simultánea
  • 2000 — Leaving No Trace
  • 1998 — Enredando sombras
  • 1994 — El jardín del Edén
  • 1993 — Autumm
  • 1991 — Danzón
  • 1989 — Lola
  • 1988 — Azul celeste
  • 1988 — Historias de ciudad
  • 1986 — Una isla rodeada de agua
  • 1985 — Pervertida
  • 1983 — Pervertida
  • 1982 — 7 A.M
  • 1982 — Conmigo la pasaras muy bien

Festivales y Premios

  • 2010 Festival de Cine de Guadalajara
  • 2010 Festival del Nuevo Cine de La Habana: Premio Gran Coral a mejor película
  • 2010 Festival de Cine de Roma: Premio a mejor actriz (todo el reparto de actrices)
  • 2010 Festival Internacional de Cine Amazonas: Premio a mejor guión y mejor actriz
  • 2011 Festival Internacional de Cine Para Mujeres de Créteil
  • 2012 Festival de Cine New Horizons
  • Premios Ariel de México: Premio a mejores efectos visuales y mejor actriz de reparto




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