Cria Cuervos (1976)

79.

★★★★★

Directed by: Carlos Saura
Written by: Carlos Saura (story)
Starring: Geraldine Chaplin, Mónica Randall and Florinda Chico

“Cria Cuervos” comes from the Spanish proverb – “Raise ravens, and they will peck your eyes out.” The proverb can be interpreted as almost a warning for parents as it claims those you support and nurture can easily turn against you.

The title of Carlos Saura’s haunting and deeply moving film fits perfectly with the personal story of the film’s protagonist – eight year old Ana (Torrent) who rebels against the aunt who takes her mother and father’s place as her legal guardian – and the legacy of facism in Spain that Cria Cuervos seeks to portray allegorically. Shot while General Franco was on his deathbed, Cria Cuervos explores the repression and irreversible impression the facist regime left on younger generations by looking at sex, guilt, loss and death through the eyes of a child.

With this engaging and thought-provoking plot, Saura not only takes creative risks with the narrative of the story, but also in its visual representation, blending the fantasies and realities of little Ana as a reflection of history and memory. Delivering one of the best child performances in film history, Cria Cuervos is a film that is absolutely unforgettable in its originality and power.

Already grown up.

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