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El Sur

Directed by Victor Erice

Spain, 1983

HOME, 21 September 2016

El Sur

A young woman, overcome with love and dread for her father’s fate, decides to journey to the South, seeking the key to his existence.

It ends right then, this precious and elliptical film, after presenting an array of strangely beautiful fragments.

One learns that the father is a Republican in Fascist Spain, living in a sort of exile in a small provincial town.  In time even his marriage, a dowdy confection, feels like a sort of exile.  He is unhappy, pining for a film actress he had known in the days of his youth. A woman changed, as he has changed. It is all hopeless. His life, or at any rate another, perhaps an authentic life, lies elsewhere.

It is a lovely film, which put me in mind at times of Shadow of a Doubt  – though as filtered through, let’s say, Goytisolo’s delicate sensibility.