Dir. Carlos Saura
Spain 1975 | Colour | 110 mins | Cert 12A | Drama
Cast: Geraldine Chaplin, Ana Torrent, Héctor Alterio
Shot in the summer of 1975 as General Franco lay dying, Saura’s masterpiece takes its title from a sinister Spanish proverb: ‘raise ravens and they’ll pluck out your eyes.’ A subtle yet unmistakable indictment of the family as a repressive force in Spanish society, Cría cuervos centres on an eight-year-old orphan (the spellbinding Ana Torrent from Erice’s The Spirit of the Beehive) who believes herself to have poisoned her cold, authoritarian father (Héctor Alterio), a high-ranking military man whom she blames for the death of her adored mother (Geraldine Chaplin). Looking forward to Pan’s Labyrinth, Cría cuervos is one of cinema’s most hauntingly vivid depictions of a child’s fantasy-imbued reality. Darkly unsettling, deeply touching and comic by turns, this landmark of Spanish cinema – premiered shortly after the dictator’s death – exposes a stifling world in which talk of sex or the Civil War is still largely taboo
Available on: DCP
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