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The movie tells a melancholic story of a little girl who is living in a city in the north of Spain. She is fascinated by the secrets of the south which seem to be hidden in the personality of her father.Written by
Director Víctor Erice considers this to be an unfinished project. The original script consisted of more than 400 pages and was scheduled to be shot in 81 days. 48 days into shooting, when production was to be moved to north Spain, producer Elías Querejeta unexpectedly suspended the project, allegedly because of financing objections by Televisión Española, the backing television network. However, Querejeta revealed years later that he made the decision because he though the movie was finished with what they've shot so far. See more »
The phases of the murky relationship between a girl and her father, set in misty, northern post-war Spain.
This story unfolds in delicate time in the history of modern Spain, as well as during a precarious time in the life of a family.
Adolescent Estrella lives in awe of her mysterious and magical father, wonderfully played by Omero Antonutti, and weary of her ever-practical mother and of their isolated life in the misty and brooding northern countryside. Estrella's fascination with her father turns to intrigue- and then to obsession- when she discovers that her father has a secret, and realizes that she is only one facet of her father's life and not the central figure, as he is to her.
After a ray of sunshine is cast into her dark and insular life by the visit of one of her father's aunts (played by the late Rafaela Aparicio in one of her best roles), Estrella yearns to capture more of the essence of her father by one day visiting "el sur" (the south)his home territory.
As Estrella enters the awkward realm of adolescence, she grows apart from her father emotionally. A tragic turn of events condemns him to remain a mythical figure for hersomeone she wonders if she ever knew at all. The supreme irony is that she is very like him.
This film is captivating, both visually and emotionally, and the audience becomes just as absorbed in the story as the characters themselves. It is one of those films whose imagery will always stay in one's memory, such as in the my favorite scene, where father and daughter sit distantly across a table from each other in an old café, listening to the eerie sound of a "pasodoble" that wafts from a wedding in another room, bringing memories of happier, simpler days.
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