We hear the noise of a car starting. A man, Jorge (Arturo de Cordova) cries: "Isabel". The car accelerates, and drives through a winding road... faster... faster. A tree, a crash, fire.....
Isabel died in a car accident leaving behind Jorge and their little daughter Rosita (Angelica Maria). In the great mansion lives also Magdalena (Maria Douglas), Jorge's sister-in-law. There's a strange atmosphere in the house. There's a ghost hovering around and it's not Isabel's ghost - the characters live and move as under the weight of a shadow.
Magdalena (Jorge's sister-in-law) leaves the house to visit her parents. She will be absent for some weeks. Now Jorge and his daughter Rosita (excepting the servants) are alone in the house. Then, one day, as Jorge is lost in dark brooding, the doorbell rings. Jorge opens the door. He sees a girl. She says that she had been hired by Isabel to take care of Rosita. At first, Jorge is shocked, but eventually he hires her as Rosita's governess. Her name is Monica.
Monica (Rosita Quintana) is a very attractive and sensitive girl. It doesn't take long for her to win Rosita's heart.
When Magdalena returns home (after some weeks' stay with her parents), the status quo has changed and the atmosphere becomes at once charged - dark hints will be dropped, double-meaning words are exchanged, unknown and unsaid things seem to threaten the peace in the house. Only Jorge's sister, Cecilia (Andrea Palma) seems to watch it all with calm and understanding eyes. All this is underlined by the rich soundtrack (even if a bit melodramatic), the camera movements, and the emotional intensity conveyed by the actors (especially Arturo de Cordova, Rosita Quintana and Andrea Palma).
"La Ausente" may be a little bit dramatic , but it's a psychologically rich film with many layers. The actors are excellently directed and manage to give all of themselves to their characters. Add to this the beautiful soundtrack and cinematography and you'll have an engrossing film.
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