Ana is a young girl in a middle class family in Madrid (played by the dark-eyed Ana Torrent, who haunted audiences two years earlier in Víctor Erice’s The Spirit of the Beehive), mourning the death of her mother with her two sisters under the guidance of their aunt and grandmother. Her mother María (Geraldine Chaplin, married at the time to director Carlos Saura) appears in duality as remembered by Ana, in varying stages of revelation. In this deceptively simple story, the fascist era is recalled and allegorized through the eyes of young Ana, but she is not the only one struggling to make sense of a life of unanswered questions and repression.
Cria cuervos is one of the best films ever made depicting childhood memory, a landmark moment not only in the oeuvre of Carlos Saura, who created Spain’s longest running career in cinema, but in cinema itself. Made in 1976 at the end of the Franco regime, as he lay on his deathbed, it is the moment when Spanish cinema steps out of the fog of dictatorship. With what seems to be uncertainty, like the structure of memory as presented in the film, with crossover of fantasy and reality, the end result is empowerment that would only be fully understood later.”
Directed by CARLOS SAURA/Spain/1976/1hr, 45mins.
Miami Beach Cinematheque
1130 Washington Ave,
Miami Beach, FL 33139