Spain, 1983, 95 min, Digital, Dir. Víctor Erice, Not Rated, Janus Films, Spanish with English Subtitles
"El Sur is for me - and others - one of the greatest films ever made in Spain and perhaps Erice's most refined and mature work as a director." – Miguel Marías, Senses Of Cinema
Like all great works of art, El Sur (The South) can be many things at once. It's about seeing the adult world through the eyes of a child, about a daughter's love for her father and about the mysteries those concerns contain. The source of all enigmas is to be found in the mythic South, forever recalled and, like the past, never fully regained. The time is the 1950s and the place, a small provincial town in northern Spain where the aptly named Estrella (Sonsoles Aranguren at age 8, Icíar Bollaín at 15) lives with her schoolteacher mother, Julia (Lola Cardona) and Agustín (Omero Antonutti) her elusive father, a medical doctor by occupation and a diviner by avocation. But the spell that most enthralls Estrella is the one cast on Agustín by the alluring Irene Ríos (Aurore Clément) up on the silver screen. On February 12, 1984, El Sur closed the first Miami Film Festival, eight months after closing Cannes, where it was unequivocally hailed as a masterpiece. It took only two deeply moving films - Spirit of the Beehive and El Sur - to establish director Víctor Erice's reputation as one of the world's most gifted film poets. Long out of distribution, this screening is El Sur's first in South Florida - since its initial release three decades ago.
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