After the death of her father, a young Spanish woman discovers a partial letter. As she searches for the answers, she embarks on a journey that takes her back to Africa, where she unfolds the secrets of her family.
Killian is a young man who has never left the remote mountains of Huesca (Spain) which saw him grow up. In 1953, he travels back to the exotic Equatorial African island of Fernando Poo, in Spanish Guinee, where he was born, to work in a cacao plantation alongside his father and his brother. During 20 years in this island, until the troubled days of independence, he will undertake a journey towards maturity and knowledge, but will also have to deal with pain and loss.
Part of the movie was shot in the island of Gran Canaria, Spain. The locations helped to recreate the island of Fernando Poo, in Equatorial Guinea in the mid 50s. See more »
During the dance club scene, set in 1953/4, the guitarist is playing a custom colour Fender Stratocaster. The Fender Stratocaster was introduced in the USA in 1954, and custom colours weren't available until 1956/7.
Also, it if very doubtful any African musician could afford such an instrument. The first Stratocaster didn't reach the UK until 1958. See more »
A very good production values in a Spanish saga about the Guinea occupation
The tells the story of Kilian (Mario Casas); a young white worker that on 1958 arrives to Equatorial Guinea with his older brother to work (as a white manager) on a cacao plantation; and fell in love with a local native (not acceptable by the natives and due to the political turmoil become something forbidden).
In the present time; Kilian's niece decides to visit the place to find out information about her family history; so the tale become structured as a mix of flashbacks.
If the intention was criticism on Spanish colonialism; the movie limits the attack to a few bad seeds on both sides and the obvious cruelty (locals were paid but punished like slaves) is mostly diluted. In fact the portrait of the liberated Equatorial Guinea is far more depressing and cruel than the old one. The movie seems to say "you left us and see what you got into".
While the technical aspects of the movie are excellent (camera work, FX, action and/or violent scenes, sound effects), the editing somewhat confusing. If you do not pay attention to some names you will get lost in many characters relations.
There are also a few unnecessary scenes that make the movie lag.
The acting department is reasonable but on the white side; nobody really shines. On the native (black) side, performances are stronger and passionate even when characters do not have a lot of development.
As many European productions; there are some violent and plenty of nudity and (moderated) sex scenes. In Spain the movie was consider PG but like most of Europe; but I am pretty sure it will get an R in USA.
In brief; it is an interesting (but not perfect ) movie worth a look
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