Xavier Bermudez, the director of this Spanish film has decided to make a film out of the relationship between an autistic boy and his sister. It is a strange story in which incest is not mentioned, yet it is clear to see, it is the basis of their relationship. Incest is something no one dares to talk about, yet, it is probably more prevalent than one can imagine.
If you haven't seen it, please stop reading now.
This is a film that is not for everybody because of what it depicts. The director is courageous in showing us this side of life that is incomprehensible, perhaps, to a so-called normal mind, but it happens, probably more than one suspects. The movie feels claustrophobic as we watch Leon and Olvido in their desperate situation.
Leon is an autistic young man who can't cope with life in institutions for people in his condition. Olvido is trying to make ends meet working as a sewing operator in a clothes factory. She is forced to bring Leon home and that's when her problems begins. Olvido's life goes into a tailspin because she can't cope with the problems Leon brings into it. Leon might be autistic, but has feelings and sexual cravings too.
Olvido contemplates killing Leon, but can't bring herself to do it; she is too decent to do anything like that. When things get so out of hand, she even tries to commit suicide. The final scene is enigmatic, at best. It's probably Olvido's escape from a life that has been unkind to her.
Marta Larralde, as Olvido is good, in a measured performance. Gillem Jimenez, who shows more intelligence than we give him credit for, is excellent in portraying the troubled youth. His class mates are also endearing because they all show they are quite happy with their lot.
The film is disturbing, but ultimately it will reward those with an open mind.
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