Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2020 by Hoai-Tran Bui
“Unfortunate you, if you cannot understand the mysteries of the jungle…”
There’s a Mayan myth of the “Xtabay,” a female demon said to dwell in the forest who lures men to their deaths with her incomparable beauty. Described as having lustrous, shining black hair that falls to her ankles and wearing a white dress, the Xtabay is an intriguing figure in Mayan folklore who has been everything from prostitute with a heart of gold, to a vengeful spirit of a fallen woman, depending on the storyteller. In Yulene Olaizola‘s lush, sweaty Tragic Jungle she’s a slave on the run from her lustful white master and the enigmatic embodiment of the film’s ecological rage. Part feminist revenge film, part environmental cautionary tale, Tragic Jungle is a bloody fable that posits that the mysteries of women are as deep and impenetrable as the jungle…and just as deadly.