Cruel Sky (Cielo Cruel)

Love is not the same as lust.

Cruel Sky is a town in northern Mexico with a rich historical background. It served as a gateway to the northern territories during colonial times and significant battles during the Revolution took place ther. It was here that Vasconcelist educational campaigns were initiated, promoting indigenous, rural, technical, and urban education. However, the region was not ready for such progress, and reports of tortured and murdered teachers became increasingly common. Despite this, Belén and her husband Severino decided to become teachers.

Belén is a determined, independent, and modern woman who knows herself and how to satisfy her own desires. After her sister Margarita’s suicide, driven by unrequited love, Belén swore never to need a man to achieve fulfillment. She has a daughter, Gloria.

Gloria inherits her mother’s strength and passion. Married to Fernando Manrique at a young age, she lived in the United States and has now returned to Cruel Sky. At 38 years old and with three daughters, she conceives her fourth child, Mar, during a passionate night with Fernando. It’s during this night that something awakens in Gloria —a dormant desire that gradually takes shape in innocent games with her husband. One day she paints her lips with lipstick, the next she asks them to change names during their intimate moments. Finally, her desire becomes a reality when she begins a romance with her childhood friend, Soledad. The peak of her desire arrives when Gloria invites Fernando to have a threesome with her and Soledad.

Gloria names her youngest daughter Mar, inspired by the villain of her favorite radio novel. When Mar learns the origin of her name, a sense of guilt washes over her, feeling that it makes her a harbinger of bad things, including the death of her grandparents. Mar only wants three things: to change her name, to see the ocean, and to find a man who looks her in the eyes while making love. That man will come later than she expects, when Mar is 38 years old and Alejo is 20.


RELEVANT INFORMATION: Cruel Sky narrates the discovery of desire in three women from three different generations. It’s an intimate family story with a contained atmosphere and eroticism viewed through a female lens. Set in a fictional town in Zacatecas, Mexico, it also paints a portrait of life in a place far removed from the major Mexican cities.

Maritza M. Buendía holds a PhD in Humanities-Literature from UAM-Iztapalapa, Mexico. She has received the National Literature Prize Gilberto Owen, the Bellas Artes Literary Essay Prize José Revueltas, and the National Short Story Prize Julio Torri. She was part of the first generation of the Foundation for Mexican Literature and is currently a member of the National Researchers System of Mexico and a research professor in the Literature degree of the Master’s in Hispanic American Literature at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas.


What the critics have said:

“Three interconnected periods in the indices of carnal impulses, sensuality, guilt, pleasure, and fears. The grandmother, Belén, displays her desire for independence; the mother, Gloria, violates the marital code; the daughter, Mar, struggles between apprehension and delight in the awakening of her sexuality. The Zacatecan writer offers readers a novel that weaves three stories unfolding in the murky landscapes of love and its transgressions.” – Carlos Olivares Baró, La Razón.

“Maritza M. Buendía is interested in creating erotic literature, meaning literature related to love, where she cares about language, presents a poetics, and has an aesthetic proposal.” – Merry MacMasters, La Jornada.

“The characters in Cruel Sky attempt to break free from bonds that artistic and literary tradition has imposed to open up new paths for understanding desire.” – Eleane Herrera Montejano, Crónica.


AUDIOVISUAL POTENTIAL: TV Series, Miniseries, Film, TV Movie.


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