La herida luminosa (1997)

 |  Drama
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fernando Guillén ...
Mercedes Sampietro ...
Doña Isabel
Julia Gutiérrez Caba ...
Sor Benedicta
María Massip ...
Beatriz Santana ...
Sor María
Concha Gómez Conde ...
Norma Garci
María Elena Flores ...
Alicia Rozas ...
José Luis Merino
Maria De Los Reyes Martinez
Lourdes De Orduña


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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Concierto nº 2 para piano en C menor Opus 18
By Sergei Rachmaninoff
Performed by Coro de Monjas Benedictinas del Real Monasterio de San Pelayo
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Intimist story in classical <custombrista> style
7 January 2002 | by (La Rioja, Spain) – See all my reviews

Whereas `La Herida Luminosa' is by no means a great masterpiece, as is Garci's following film `El Abuelo', it is a delicate stage piece in more than one sense. Firstly it is based on a play by the Catalonian poet Josep María Sagarra which was probably written in the late 1950s; secondly Garci sought to maintain the playwriter style of interaction between the actors. For this reason the main actors basically come from an ample background of live theatre - Fernando Guillén, Mercedes Sampietro and Julia Gutiérrez Caba especially. Neus Asensi is really good, and this is probably the film in which Cayetana Guillén-Cuervo (daughter of Fernando) plays her best rôle. As usual the careful hand of the artisan director is evident, notwithstanding a few glimpses of things which did not exist in that decade.


SPOILERS IN THIS PARAGRAPH: a nun becomes ill and is taken to see the doctor, who happens to be her father and repudiates her. Dr. Molino's hate for his daughter ends in her dying (of a broken heart?) when she goes to visit him. END SPOILERS


Although some tangencial religious inferences are clear, in no way are they sanctimonious, there is no preaching. Garcí is very much of the new Spanish cinema who does tend to look back in his stories - again here aided by his favourite scriptwriter Horacio Valcárcel - but by no means can he be considered a latter-day franquista. His stories, as here in `La Herida Luminosa', are clean characteriological studies on human values and feelings. Very much a dialogue-driven piece, befitting perfectly the times in question and proper to its origins as a stage play.

Manuel Balboa once again strikes the right ambiental note with his music, though I sometimes could not tell where his original score stopped and where music from other composers began. Definitely recognised some Tchaickovsky, but interspersed with pieces which sounded almost like Beethoven and Chopin, as well as a rather nice chorus of nuns at the end, which may well have been Balboa's own.

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