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El Premio (The Prize)

Directed by Paula Markovitch

Poland, 2010

Cornerhouse, 10 March 2012

The Prize

This film addresses Argentina’s fascist past through the experience of a child.

She’s a young girl called Ceci (played by the precociously talented Paula Galinelli Hertzog), who’s confused and broken by being unable to speak the truth.

Here fascism is a contaminant, its chief toxin an endemic fear, which poisons all relationships, including that between a daughter and her mother.  It gets pretty intense, but the intensity is warranted.  Paula Markovitch tells us that fascism can cause a child to feel she has lost her mother’s love.  That being so, the bond of every human relationship becomes precarious.  None, no one, is safe.

El Premio, a haunting and beautiful film, is showing again tomorrow and on Thursday 13 March as part of Viva, the Spanish and Latin American Film Festival.  It’s simply unmissable.