Carol, a twelve-year-old Spanish-American girl from New York, travels with her mother to Spain in the spring of 1938, at the height of the Civil War. Separated from her beloved father, ...
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Carol, a twelve-year-old Spanish-American girl from New York, travels with her mother to Spain in the spring of 1938, at the height of the Civil War. Separated from her beloved father, Carol arrives in her mother's home village and transforms the secretive family environment. Her innocence and rebellious nature drive her at first to reject a world that is at once new and foreign. But she soon journeys into adulthood through a friendship with Maruja, the village teacher, and a young local boy, Tomiche. Written by
CAROL'S JOURNEY is a pleasure to watch for so many reasons. The acting of Clara Lago is simply amazing for someone so young, and she is one of those special actors who can say say much with facial expressions. Director Imanol Urbibe presents a tight and controlled film with no break in continuity, thereby propelling the plot at a steady pace with just enough suspense to keep one wondering what the nest scene will bring. The screenplay of Angel Garcia Roldan is story telling at its best, which, it seems, if the major purpose for films after all. The plot is unpredictable, yet the events as they unravel are completely logical. Perhaps the best feature of this film if to tell a story of the Spanish Civil War as it affected the people. It was a major event of the 20th century, yet hardly any Americans know of it. In fact, in 40 years of university teaching, I averaged about one student a semester who had even heard of it, much less any who could say anything comprehensive about it--and the overwhelming number of students were merit scholars, all of which speaks to the enormous amount of censorship in American education. So, in one way, this film is a good way to begin a study of that event, keeping in mind that when one thread is pulled a great deal of history is unraveled. The appreciation of this film is, therefore, in direct relation to the amount of one's knowledge. To view this film as another coming of age movie is the miss the movie completely. The Left Elbow Index considers seven aspects of film-- acting, production sets, character development, plot, dialogue, film continuity, and artistry--on a scale for 10 for very good, 5 for average, and 1 for needs help. CAROL'S JOURNEY is above average on all counts, excepting dialogue which is rated as average. The LEI average for this film is 9.3, raised to a 10 when equated to the IMDb scale. I highly recommend this film for all ages.
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