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Cría Cuervos (1976)

Cría cuervos (original title)
PG | | Drama | 18 May 1977 (USA)
In the twilight of Francisco Franco's dictatorship, an eight-year-old orphan and her two sisters find shelter in the house of their stern aunt, trying their best to acclimatise to a new reality. Will they summon up the courage to grow up?

Director:

Carlos Saura

Writer:

Carlos Saura (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ana Torrent ... Ana niña
Conchita Pérez Conchita Pérez ... Irene (as Conchi Perez)
Mayte Sanchez Mayte Sanchez ... Maite (as Maite Sánchez)
Geraldine Chaplin ... María / Ana
Mónica Randall ... Paulina (as Monica Randall)
Florinda Chico ... Rosa
Josefina Díaz Josefina Díaz ... Abuela (as Josefina Diaz)
Germán Cobos ... Nicolás Garontes (as German Cobos)
Héctor Alterio ... Anselmo (as Hector Alterio)
Mirta Miller ... Amelia Garontes
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Julieta Serrano ... Ana (voice)
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Storyline

In Madrid, the orphan sisters Irene, Ana and Maite are raised by their austere aunt Paulina together with their mute and crippled grandmother after the death of their mother and their military father Anselmo. Ana is a melancholic girl, fascinated by death, after seeing her mother having a painful death and her father dead in bed. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Regards d'une Enfance. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Spain

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

18 May 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cría Cuervos See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,029
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 46112. See more »

Quotes

Ana: The only thing I remember very clearly, is that at the time, I was convinced my father was responsible for all the sadness that embittered the last years of my mother's life. I was convinced that it was he and he alone that had caused her illness and death.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #7.4 (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

¡Ay, Maricruz!
Written by Joaquín Valverde (as Valverde), Rafael de León (as León) and Manuel L. Quiroga (as Quiroga)
Performed by Imperio Argentina
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Simple, but labyrinthine. Truly fantastic.
26 August 2007 | by zetesSee all my reviews

A perfect sister film to one of my absolute favorites, Spirit of the Beehive. It also stars Ana Torrent and has similar themes. And I like it probably as much. Torrent, three years older but looking pretty much the same, plays the middle child of three girls. At the beginning of the film, their father has just died. Their mother (played by Geraldine Chaplin) died a while back. The film is told through the mind of Ana, who is still mourning her mother, and she often sees her. It can be confusing at the beginning. Chaplin also appears as the adult Ana, who narrates some of her thoughts, or possibly as what Ana believes she will become. This is very ambiguous. The girls' aunt Paulina is now taking care of them. The duty was kind of forced upon her and, while she's trying her hardest, it's taking its toll. She's stern and not well liked by the girls, especially Ana. There isn't much plot, per se, and what little there is shouldn't be ruined. We often see Ana's imagination and memories come to life. We see her witness fights between her parents. Later on, she reenacts them with her sisters. The film is about what children observe, how they interpret it and how they act on those interpretations. The film also has political ramifications, subtle ones that are pretty difficult to grasp. The title is the beginning of a Spanish proverb that goes: "Raise ravens, and they'll tear out your eyes." Like Spirit of the Beehive, the film depicts a child experimenting with her own cruelty and violence. Supposedly this is all a criticism of the Fascist government (Franco had just died by this point, so his regime was just on its way out). It's a very dense and fascinating movie. You'd probably still be swimming through its mysteries on a hundredth viewing. If you thought possibly that Ana Torrent was not acting in Spirit of the Beehive, this will set you straight. Her blank, soulful expression is here in full force, of course, but here you see the slightest smile creep across her face, and you can just tell exactly what she's thinking. I'm afraid I've done an awful job reviewing Cría Cuervos. I haven't expressed how touching it is when dealing with Ana's loneliness (there's a scene where she dreams that her mother pops into her bedroom to tell her a story that's just heartbreaking), or how it often straddles dark comedy, like the scenes between Ana and the maid. I think that difficulty in reviewing it shows just how layered and confounding the film is. It shoots right up my favorites list. It's easily the best film I've seen all year. Bravo to Criterion for bringing this one to DVD. Hope they also get to Saura's La Caza sometime in the future.


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