Summer 1993 (2017)

CARLA SIMON

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB

Original title:  Estiu 1993

Spain, 2017, , , , , , , , Screenplay by Cinematography by Produced by Music by , Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by , . Berlin Film Festival 2017European Film Awards 2017.  

A woman’s death leaves a little girl orphaned, the child having lost her father some time earlier to the same circumstances as her mother, and leaving her at first in the care of her grandparents until it is decided that young Frida will go live with her mother’s brother and his wife on their farm, where they are raising their own little girl. Frida is treated with a great deal of affection by her aunt and uncle but, in her grief and fear and her inability to understand either, can’t help but act out in increasingly troubling and upsetting ways. The narrative of this exceptionally touching film by Carla Simón, who bases it on her own childhood experience, is simple to describe, but it plays out in small, subtle moments that narrative description would reduce to something banal. Simon treats both the moments of tenderness and rebellion from a wise and carefully calibrated distance that feels polished and smooth, while the repression of feeling that young portrays so remarkably well in the lead role makes the conclusion incredibly devastating.

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