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  • Jennifer Green

Review: "Alcarràs"

Spain’s International Oscar nominee, Alcarràs, from director Carla Simón (Summer 1993), has been winding its way all year through film festivals (starting with the Golden Bear at Berlin) and past awards bodies (two top nominations at last weekend’s European Film Awards).

The professional circuit may be where the film – a slow-paced, Catalan-language family drama – finds its most willing audience. But that would be a loss for viewers, who have the chance to watch Alcarràsin the US on Mubi starting Jan. 6.

This is a deceptively simple movie. It’s filmed with non-professional actors in a documentarian’s naturalistic, day-in-the-life style. It captures the realities of rural farm life in northwestern Spain (Alcarràs is a town in Catalonia) in a way that is rare for an international audience to see, providing accurate cultural details about the different generations of a single family.

But more than its anthropological value, the film is also a beautifully shot and structured timepiece with a stealthily absorbing story. Every scene, no matter how seemingly mindless or routine the characters’ actions, moves the story forward.

Image courtesy of Mubi.


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