David comes from the near future and knows that Nina will take her life at the end of the day. He also knows that he can't save her from doing so. He decides to live again with her, fifteen years later, the day they first met.
César Esteban Alenda,
José Esteban Alenda
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The psychoanalysts and the feminists would finally join hands in applauding this one. Well, I guess you can't clap while you're holding hands but you can whistle and shout "Bravo!" Julia is a young woman of no spectacular beauty seated in a bath tub and completely covered by water. A young man, her husband, drains the water and replaces the wedding ring that has slipped from her finger. "Where is my belt?", he keeps asking her, as if she has deliberately hidden it, which, in fact, she has, under her naked body. Hubby keeps carrying on about the damned belt. It was given to him by his father and passed on by the fathers before him.
Julia's young son finds the belt under the bath water but the notices that his terrified mother's arms and back are covered with belt-shaped bruises. We begin to get the picture and so does the son, who hides the belt again.
See, the belt is a symbol of our dominant and brutal patriarchy. Men have all the power. It's passed from one generation to the next. It's "el orden de las cosas." Time passes. Her son matures and leaves the house, begging for Julia to come with him, rejecting the belt, so to speak. (O, Freud, where are you?) The husband grows older but Julia shows not a wrinkle and says not a word. She sits silently, naked, hugging herself, occasionally sobbing.
After what appears to be about twenty years, visitors come, her relatives and in-laws, for dinner, but they all side with the husband and chide Julia for not revealing the location of the belt. They accuse the husband of not being a man.
It's a very powerful statement. The problem is that it's so overdone, it's charred. First of all, the sentence pronounced is too harsh to properly fit the crime. Spanish husbands don't routinely whip their wives with belts. I suppose some do, but then every society has its deviants.
Women rarely use belts as instruments of punishment, but my mother could wield one well when I misbehaved and when she didn't have a Kochloeffel close at hand. When dealing with grown men, women seem to prefer insults and poison as weapons, if my ex wife and Agatha Christie are any guides.
I'm kind of kidding around with the moral message but the fact is that we do get the idea long before the short is over, and it's only ten minutes long or something like that. Given it's chief weakness, which is underestimating its audience, it's a gripping film, one you won't find easy to dismiss.
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