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Interesting rural drama with good cast and including gorgeous outdoors from Cantabria

7/10
Author: ma-cortes from Santander Spain
21 December 2016

Rural tale set in wonderful landscapes , nicely starred by the great José Luis López Vázquez and being compellingly directed by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón . It deals with the stubborn publisher and grandfather Ramiro (José Luís López Vázquez) is on vacation at a mountain inn in the company of his family . He decides to send his people to Madrid and stay in a shelter , saying that his health needs it . But the reason is another one , as he meets an illiterate mute young (Kiti Manver) and as he is keen on her , as he attempts to teach speak , but things go wrong .

This is an intense rural drama crammed with social habits , family life and a particular relationship between two strange characters . Its style is pretty much rural and realistic as well in the atmosphere as in the fresh dialog . This film describes the rural life , including a character studio of local people and an enjoyable relationship among an old publisher and a young girl along with other villagers . This provoking drama to be continued in 1984 when Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón directs ¨Feroz¨ in which a psychologist attempts to teach a bear to behave as a human being , being also set in Cantabrian mountains and made in similar atmosphere to ¨Habla Mudita¨. Nicely produced by the prestigious producer Elias Querejeta who financed the famous ¨El Espiritu De La Colmena¨ ; when between Querejeta and Erice emerged problems , some shots from the ¨Habla Mudita¨'s Cantabrian landscapes were taken to insert them in "The Spirit of the Beehive" . Well played by known and notorious actors such as : José Luis López Vázquez who gives a masterful acting , Antonio Gamero , Francisco Guijar , the recently deceased Francisco Algora as the mute and Kiti Manver film debut playing the young countrywoman . Good production design by Mario Ortiz and correctly reflecting the atmosphere by that time and excellent location . Splendid photography with juicy atmosphere by Luis Cuadrado and Teo Escamilla , two greatest cameramen of the Spanish cinema . Being appropriately filmed on location , showing one colorful filming from Valle Natural Park of Oliva , Picos Europa , Bejes ,Bores , Santander, Cantabria , North of Spain . And including an evocative classical music by the composer Frank Schubert .

The motion picture produced by magnificent producer Elias Querejeta was all rightly directed by Manuel Gutierrez Aragon , a good Spanish movies director . Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón was born on January 2, 1942 in Torrelavega, Cantabria, where uses to set most of films , including Valley Pas and Picos De Europa . He is a writer and director, known for Habla, Mudita (1973), Camada Negra (1977) , Maravillas (1981) , Demonios en el Jardín (1982) , Feroz (1984) , Visionarios (2001) , Todos Estamos Invitados (2008) . He began working in cinema in 1973 when he filmed ¨Habla Mudita ¨ , this debut feature by acclaimed Spanish director deals with a strange relationship between a mature men and a mute villager . Manuel Gutierrez is a well recognized filmmaker both nationally and internationally, and in proof of it he won many prizes among which there are the following ones : David di Donatello Awards , Moscow International Film Festival , and San Sebastian International Festival award to ¨Demonios en Jardin¨ , Goya Awards 1987 to ¨La Mitad del Cielo¨ , Cinema Writers Circle Awards, Spain and Berlin Internation Festival 1996 to ¨Rey del Rio¨ , Biarritz International Festival awards and Goyas 2003 to ¨Caballero Don Quijote¨ , among others .

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tight-lipped in more ways than one

7/10
Author: Michael Neumann from United States
4 January 2011

The debut feature by acclaimed Spanish director Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón is an impressive but taciturn fable about a publisher/linguist who happens upon a deaf-mute shepherd girl and sets out to civilize her through language and etiquette. His fascination with her affliction and beauty is balanced by his frustration with her ignorance, while the trust that slowly develops between them is jeopardized by suspicious townsfolk and by the tutor's worried family (whose garrulous manners are contrasted with the girl's proud silence). Never mind all the allegorical implications, involving the supposed isolation of the Spanish intelligentsia under the decades-long dictatorship of Franco (near death when the film was made). The drama by itself is thought provoking, and beautifully filmed. But the director's oblique narrative style extends no favors to its audience, and viewers are obliged to fill in the gaps of meaning by themselves.

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