Quim drives around an isolated rural area through a maze of lanes. When he drives into the woods, he gets lost. Trying to find his direction, he suddenly gets shot from the hill. On his ... See full summary »
Bankmanager Modesto Pardos(played by Antonio Resines) daughter dies in an forest fire while camping. 7 years later Pardos bank gets robbed and robbers breaks open numerous safe deposit ... See full summary »
Victor is a man who gets to Paris to join his family around their seriously ill father, Max. As the chance of selling the family business begins to disrupt the family relationships, Victor ... See full summary »
Fernando Fernán Gómez,
In the MARSHLAND a serial killer is on the loose. Two homicide detectives who appear to be poles apart must settle their differences and bring the murderer to justice before more young women lose their lives.
A criminal, shoots and kills a painting restorer during a bungled burglary, and shoots her daughter as well. Twenty years later, the daughter has been left mute and with a mental age of a child, spending most of her time in a mental home.
Marina, a woman with a glass eye, has the bad luck to be the victim of an assault witnessed by Rafael, a goodhearted butcher, who rescues her from her attacker, a man named Daniel. Rafael ... See full summary »
Miguel, a young psychiatrist working in Madrid, learns that his wife has just dumped him for no one else than his own father while he's expecting his mother-in-law's visit, who's come to ... See full summary »
María José Alfonso
A divorced mother of two boys reaching adulthood, decides to sell their house, find love and get on with her life away from her husband and boys, a decision that will lead to an escalating fraternal dispute.
After the discovery of the body of a sexually assaulted young girl hidden in a sunflower field, the horrible event is all over the news. The inhabitants of Cerredo, a small village in Spain, were living a simple lifestyle, until the unexpected discovery of an entrance to a cave, filled their hearts with expectation and dreams. While a crew from the Geology Department sent to investigate was inside the cave, an act of unprecedented violence was taking place. This will mark the beginning of a vicious cycle of violence, deception and greed, intertwining the stories as well as the lives of everyone involved. Written by
A thriller that queries: Where do sunflowers face in the night?
"When the sunflower plant, Helianthus annuus, is in the bud stage, the head and the leaves do indeed track the path of the Sun. The genus name Helianthus is from the Greek helios "sun" and anthos "flower". Interestingly, however, and contrary to popular belief, once the massive topmost flower opens into the radiance of yellow petals, it slows and then stops moving, ending up permanently facing east." ---Solar flower, New Scientist, 3 August 2002
Why am I quoting this interesting trivia? Sunflower buds, we all know, keep moving but a stage comes when it does not move any further. Why am I discussing the night? That's the name of the film. The only teeny-weeny bit about sunflowers in the film But then the sun is not relevant for the night, is it? The near oxy-moronic title give a life to the movie after the film is overin many ways similar to the disturbing Austrian-French film "Cache" made by Michael Haneke. For a cineaste who can sit through the film right up to the end of the film, the real punch line from the director comes in the form of an audible TV program statement about bees in a beehive, that do not attack unless provoked. This is an innocuous fact but is loaded with meaning in the context of the film's ending. This is a statement heard by the unpunished rapist on the prowl.
The Spanish director Sánchez-Cabezudo's film is based on his own script. (He is the latest among formidable Spanish directors making good films based on their own scripts, following the tradition of the gifted directors, Amenabar and Almodovar). Most viewers would appreciate or find good entertainment in the film while mulling over in the different non-linear narrative segments of the story of rape, vigilante killing, extra-marital sex, corruption, village vs urban comparisons, love for a dead spouse. Each segment provides a different Rashomon-type perspective of sections of the same story from a different angle, as seen by a different character. The director uses a technique used in modern pulp literature most recently used by Dan Browne for his book The Da Vinci Code. While the technique might baffle a few, most viewers would derive entertainment as they are constantly challenged to derive the entertainment.
The film offers dollops of entertainment ice-cream that most viewers want-mystery, exploration of new found caves, a rape scene, a brief scene of violent death, and some endearing performances from the actors. If presented as a straight chronological narrativethe story could be made into a typical Hollywood thriller. But why is it different? It is different because of its end.
That is where the director and screenplay writer scores a bull's-eyefor a patient viewer who does not leave the theater once he sees the end credits begin to roll. The comment about the bees drive home the uncomfortable, parallel moral issues that Haneke raised in "Cache." Europeans and many of us prefer to retain status quo rather than rake up disturbing moral and social issues. It is convenient for us to do so. It is not because the issues are resolved. In this film the main culprit, a rapist is never brought to justice. If an attempt was made to bring him to justice, three persons would go behind bars for manslaughter, a homicide would surface, the reputation of an erring wife would become public knowledge, a good policeman's daughter would find out that her husband and father of her unborn baby is a corrupt cop and so on.
The film is, therefore, not merely a film to be appreciated for its structure but its underpinning question on morality. The film shows us that evil is not limited to a rapist but to the best of us. A good man could do evil in a fraction of a second. And to defend lesser evils, the bigger evil gets away. Only to scar our conscience for ever. Spanish cinema is on the move this decade. Sánchez-Cabezudo's film is good but the post-script in his screenplay is truly formidable. There indeed comes a time these days when "sunflowers" mature, stop turning towards the sun and only face the east.
Because it is convenient!
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