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Severina (2017)

A melancholic, aspiring writer and bookseller is shaken by the appearances and disappearances of his newfound muse who steals books from his bookstore. Soon he discovers that she steals in ... See full summary »


Felipe Hirsch


Felipe Hirsch
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Susana Groisman Susana Groisman


A melancholic, aspiring writer and bookseller is shaken by the appearances and disappearances of his newfound muse who steals books from his bookstore. Soon he discovers that she steals in other bookstores as well, and is consumed with jealousy. He starts to live in a kind of loving delirium, on the border between fiction and reality, but the closer he gets to her, the more indescribable she becomes: Why does she steal and what are her values? Who is the older man she lives with? Will he accept this man who occupies his space? What is true or apocryphal in this story? And, in the end, will he conquer a place in her life as he moves away from his own?

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Brazil | Uruguay



Release Date:

12 April 2018 (Brazil) See more »

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RT Features See more »
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User Reviews

A love letter to books and reading, but with a creepy, sexist undertone (7.5)
10 April 2018 | by masatySee all my reviews

Severina is a pan-Latin film made by actors and filmmakers from all over South America. It is set in the lovely old district of Montevideo, Uruguay with gently decaying Art Noveau buildings.Without spoiling, it is essentially about a middle-aged bookstore owner who falls in love with a mysterious young woman who repeatedly steals books from his shop. Their relationship ends up having some unexpected turns. (If that sounds a bit cliche to you, it's because it is.)

On the positive side, if you are a fan of books in general, Severina will remind you what a sublime, almost holy activity reading is. The film is structured like a novel and the beginning, middle, and end of the film are punctured by short scenes of characters passionately reciting quotes and passages from novels in some of the most beautiful Spanish I've ever heard in my life.

The reason the film only gets 7 stars is because the main story is both cliche and outdated. There is a trope called "Manic Pixie Dream Girl", which has been described as a free-spirited young woman who "exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach brooding young men to embrace life and all its mysteries". That not only happens here, but it is creepier than usual because the protagonist, while handsome, is pushing 35 - 40 while the young woman he falls in love doesn't look a day over 21. Their relationship takes some dark, unhealthy turns which prevents it from being totally cliche, but at the same time the entire gender politics of the film feels very outdated.

In any case, the film is beautifully shot and I can recommend seeing it, but if you're sensitive to these kinds of things just be prepared for it going in.

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