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El Sur

Víctor Erice | 1983 | 95 MINS
Spain | Subtitles
International Panorama: Spain

Ten years after ‘The Spirit of the Beehive’, Erice’s second feature was released to huge critical acclaim. A film about a woman who reflects on her childhood relationship with her father, attempting to understand the depths of his despair and the truth of his myths.

100% - Rotten Tomatoes

In Detail

Estrella Arenas (Icíar Bollaín), a rural Spanish 15-year-old with a rich imagination, dreams of her mysterious father Agustín (Omero Antonutti), a man who in recent years has drifted away from her. Estrella struggles to piece together Agustín's secret history and recalls her family's sudden unexplained move from Seville, Spain, to the northern countryside in her youth.

Estrella decides to return alone to the South, a place warped by years of her father's hazy and nostalgic recollections. Originally planned to be a film of two equal parts – one in the south and one in the north – but after seeing how perfect the first half was, it was decided that this would be the final version of the film. Erice confirms his mastery of mood, ambivalence, and the art of evoking the mysteries rather than the sharp lines of character. Every frame is calculated to perfection and loaded with depth and passion.

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