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Emilio Martínez Lázaro
Pilar López de Ayala,
In the harsh post-war years' Catalan countryside, Andreu, a child that belongs to the losing side, finds the corpses of a man and his son in the forest. The authorities want his father to be made responsible of the deaths, but Andreu tries to help his father by finding out who truly killed them. In this search, Andreu develops a moral consciousness against a world of adults fed by lies. In order to survive, he betrays his own roots and ends up finding out the monster that lives within him. Written by
This movie has given me the same feeling of what another Spanish movie, "The Labyrinth" did to me several years ago. The cinematography, the lighting, the shooting angles, the colors are just top notched, but the story itself is not as good as the aforementioned elements. There are so many weird and depressed moments in this movie, sometimes even a bit messy. It seems to me that the Spanish people are still deeply haunted by their civil war and could never walk away or walk out of it. This is a very depressive movie full of symbolism. The bird lover father and his caged birds in the attic. The awkward and always confused childhood of the son, the local police chief, the often helpless mother, the whole family clan, the weird and a bit crazy left-hand missing girl...The Spanish dialog is sometimes too quick to be absorbed and understood even with the English subtitle. The struggle of the poor, as always, fell prey to the rich and the powerful. The adults always told their kids that what they did, good or bad, right or wrong, are solely for their kids and it's disgusting. No wonder the kid finally realized what the adults said were nothing but lies. His self denial, rejection and his recognition in the end was an inevitable result, gloomy and hopeless. This is a very heavy movie, just like the heavy colors in this movie.
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