One of these existential thrillers as they were made in the 70's, Léa l'hiver first strikes by its strenuous construction, with the ad nauseum use of flash-backs which makes the film very hard to understand : it starts with the discovery of a woman corpse, then gradually reveals the past of this woman as well as the police investigation which follows the discovery, and goes back and forth between seasons and places without any apparent logic.
Devoid of charm and warmth, Karen Blanguernon and Gilles Segal lead the pack of this cold-hearted movie, paradoxically set under the bright sun of Ibiza. This leads to what strikes me as the strong point of the film : the depiction of the spanish island at a turning point of its history. It is quite interesting on a sociological point of view : the early 70's mark the beginning of a new touristic era for balearic islands, and the film particularly depicts those changes, the way a very isolated and poor island gradually changes to become one of the main touristic sites of the Mediterranean basin. Hideous and soulless touristic resorts being built across gorgeous landscapes, developing marketing and selling processes to the masses... All this only underlines the main plot, but gives an identity to a film that wouldn't be half watchable without it.
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