Mexico/Spain, 2001, 106 min, DCP, Dir. Guillermo Del Toro, Rated R, In Spanish with English subtitles, Sony Pictures Classics

The Devil's Backbone

Saturday, May 6

"With the ambitious and ominous The Devil's Backbone, Del Toro rises to a new level of accomplishment, adding history and politics to his distinctive blend." –Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

“Del Toro manages to unite all his disparate elements - ghosts and gold, infidelity and politics - for a devastating final reel. The command of sound and colour is breathtaking.” –Colin Kennedy, Empire

A stylish and unpredictable supernatural chiller from director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Cronos, The Shape of Water) which deftly mixes horror, suspense and dark humor. Twelve-year-old Carlos is the latest arrival to Santa Lucia School, an imposing stone building that shelters the orphans of the Republican militia and politicians during the last days of the Spanish Civil War. Carlos gradually uncovers the dark ties that bind the inhabitants of the school: hidden riches, sexual intrigue and the restless ghost of a murdered student. Presented by Agustín and Pedro Almodóvar (All About My Mother) and starring Marisa Paredes (The Flower of My Secret), Federico Luppi (Men with Guns) and Eduardo Noriega (Open Your Eyes).

Guillermo del Toro has said that he made The Devil's Backbone to re-assert his independence as an artist after a less-than-stellar experience in Hollywood directing the 1997 film Mimic. His award-winning subsequent filmography—which regularly receives high praise for its creator's unique and singular vision—clearly indicates that he succeeded. One of those later films, Del Toro's highly imaginative masterpiece Pan's Labyrinth, also takes place after the Spanish Civil War, and is seen by many fans and scholars alike as a companion piece to The Devil's Backbone.

Join us for a journey into the minds of some of the most legendary contemporary filmmakers from Mexico, as we bring you the early films of the "Three Amigos" of cinema. Experience Alejandro González Iñárritu's searing emotional drama Amores Perros. Ride along on Alfonso Cuarón's wild road trip adventure Y Tu Mamá También. Enter the eerie worlds of Guillermo del Toro's visionary fairy tale Pan's Labyrinth and its terrifying spiritual predecessor The Devil's Backbone.

Check out the rest of our The Three Amigos of Cinema program!