In 'No Tengas Miedo' (Don't Be Afraid), Montxo Armendáriz tells a disturbing story of child sexual abuse through the perspective of a young survivor Silvia who was molested and raped from the age of 7. The storytelling is quite simplistic and subtle. Armendáriz does not go over the top in conveying what he wants to stress. He successfully avoids the use of clichés. The film itself has a poetic feel but that of a sad poem. The characterization is well done. I wonder how much of the film is based on one's experience as it felt very real.
The execution is thankfully simple. The director uses of images one can relate to on a daily basis. The cinematography is solid and the quiet score is well-fitting. There are no graphic images but the suggestive rape sequences themselves are chilling and difficult to watch. The sequences that follow a confused and tormented Silvia are handled with élan.
Another highlight are the performances. Lluís Homar's detestable Padre is revolting. His portrayal sends a chill down the spine for that is how a majority of child molesters are: liked and respected by friends and colleagues while behind closed door they commit their disgusting deeds. Belén Rueda's Madre couldn't have been an easy role to play but obviously Rueda can pull it off. Her Madre too is a despicable for not only turning a blind eye but to abandon her daughter, leaving her all alone with a monster knowing what was happening. Michelle Jenner is remarkable in her impressive portrayal of the quietly suffering Silvia. They are supported by an excellent team of actors.
I didn't know very much about the film before deciding on it. I was under the impression that it was a thriller of some kind and what I ended up with was an intense human drama told effectively by Montxo Armendáriz. In the end, 'No Tengas Miedo' is a sensible story of hope and survival.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?