Lucia is a waitress who lives and works in Madrid. After what she believes to be the loss of her boyfriend, the tortured writer Lorenzo, she flees to a secluded island that he had often told her about. There she meets Carlos and Elena, who have also run away to the island to escape personal tragedy. Unbeknownst to them, all three have a connection to Lorenzo. Elena met him many years ago on that same island and enjoyed beautiful, anonymous lovemaking with him in the sea by the light of a full moon. 9 months later, Elena gave birth to Luna, but never managed to find Lorenzo. Carlos was the stepfather of Belen, who disappeared after she unwittingly caused the death of Luna. As she hears more about the past of her two new housemates, Lucia is reminded of the book Lorenzo was writing, a tale about a journey into a dark, deep past that brought on his depression. Soon, the lines between fact and fiction begin to fall apart.Written by
The movie is divided in two chapters: "Lucía" and "El Sexo" which gives its title to the movie. See more »
A full moon between two buildings is shown during midday when Lorenzo meets his daughter Luna for the first time - which is astronomically impossible. See more »
This really isn't an island.
It's a giant lid. A floating piece of earth. Like a raft.
But it isn't moving.
People get dizzy here during high tide. And no one knows why.
I've dived underneath the whole island. It's totally hollow. Thousands of caves, but nothing else. Not a single rock connects it to the sea floor.
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Credits scroll in the opposite direction. See more »
The US cut removes most of the frontal nudity and runs approximately 2 minutes shorter. See more »
This movie in my view is not understandable without any notion of the 'soul', whose movements are made visible by magnificent underwater shots. The sexual scenery functions not only as entrance to the story; I think Medem really wanted to depict something like 'the ultimate sex' both as experience and as ultimate, divine ideal, something like Goethes 'eternal feminine.' As something to strive for, it can deeply affect our lives by giving it the splendour we need to keep it worthwhile, even if we fail. At the same time, it is also a power deep down, a dark shadow that haunts us. It's for us to see, to accept, and to decide: do we want to go to our island and unite the two, as Lucia does? In that case, we might see that in the end our stories come true as well, be it by breaking in in the middle.
The question I asked myself after watching the movie for the third time was: where exactly is this 'middle' of it? It seems to me that it's around the scene where Elena is walking through Madrid with Luna in her baby carriage, while passing the apartment of Lucia and Lorenzo. From then on, the decisions made by the novelist - like the shivery death of his child - are such that there is no way back. Lorenzo, Lucia and their relationship are too heavily shaken up. Both have to get into a new reality which can transform their personalities; to both, this means a form of dying and leaving their old personalities behind. They surely resist this, especially Lorenzo; but also he has to put himself at risk, following the demands of his 'blood', that is, of his sex, death and rebirth. And there the story takes over the initiative from the writer, who himself is thrown into it - in the middle, where he leaves his home and runs into his 'accident'. Exactly that scene is not shown - it's the hole in the middle, through which the old reality passes into the new.
For me, this movie is a small masterpiece, which shows how film and literature can work together, and how more powerful ideas about ourselves are then the circumstances we are put into. The 'form' of the persons is therefore changeable: like Lorenzo during the last Island episode has 'changed' into Carlos. As the 'transformed' Lorenzo turns up on the island, with his distress and his love for both Elena and Lucia, 'Carlos' is no longer necessary and the women can leave him behind. The fact that Elena is eventually able to weep, marks the acceptance of her loss, which 'naturally' returns her child to her from the middle of the picture again.
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