1980. In a little town close to Coto of Doñana (Andalusia, south to Spain), two teen girls have disappeared. The father of one of the girls, who have connections with important people in the forces of the law, gets that two police detectives of homicides from Madrid are assigned to the mission to find the girls if they are alive, or find the assassin if they appear died. The detectives are Pedro Suárez and Juan Robles. While that Suárez is a young, taciturn and circumspect agent in a Spain that it tries to find a new identity as democratic country after General Franco's death in 1975, Robles is a veteran, funny and expeditious agent, with a mysterious past as alleged member of Franco's Armed Police dismantled in 1978. Unable to reconcile one with each other, Suárez and Robles find trapped by the hostile environment of a place where the old Franco's methods and customs still alive, and where they two aren't welcome. When the girls appears died, the following investigation move the cops...Written by
The difference between a good crime thriller and an average one, is often the setting. In the case of 'La Isla Minima', the surroundings are as important as the plot. The story takes place in a remote part of Spain, an area of treeless plains, lonely marshlands and wide rivers. The inhabitants of the isolated villages are suspicious of outsiders. In this hostile environment, two policemen try to solve the murder of two teenage sisters. Slowly but determinedly, they gather clues and try to squeeze information out of the uncooperative villagers.
Apart from the scenery, the film is also interesting because of the political situation underpinning the story. The film takes place in 1980, when Spain is in the process of becoming a democracy after being ruled for decades by the dictator Franco. One of the policemen, a former officer in Franco's special forces, still holds on to the old fashioned way of using violence to get things done. The other, a much younger man who embraces the new democracy, has a very different style.
The film is beautifully shot, with some remarkable aerial footage. It's nice to see that Spanish cinema has more to offer than Almodovar.
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