THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE
Víctor Erice Director
Víctor Erice y Angel Fernández Santos Guionistas
Luis Cuadrado Fotografía
Luis de Pablo Música
Elías Querejeta Productor
Fernando Fernán Gómez Fernando
Teresa Gimpera Teresa
Ana Torrent Ana
Isabel Tellería Isabel
José Villasante Frankenstein
THE LATE SPANISH NEOREALISM
The spaniards minors of sixty years old should see this movie that immerses us in the darkness of the Spain of the 40's that lucky every day moves far away of us.
The scene is the rural fields of Segovia, which might be any little village after the war.
Two girls suffer the terrible experience of discovering the reality when the shaded survivors of the war have decided to close her world as a honeycomb of bees, to prohibit the life at liberty, the free ideas and to leave in suspense his feelings in indefinite time. The atmosphere is already clean of gunpowder but saturated of dread, of silence, of distrust, of isolation, of dislike, in these hard fields of the Castilian plateau. Nobody dares to raise the crusts to see the wounds, the crux has become denser than the air to cover the sadness, the disappointment, the tedium.
In this lugubrious village populated by taciturn figures, both girls learn to breathe for the eyes not to die asphyxiated, create his own imaginary world with what they find around it: a ghostly Frankenstein that comes in an ambulant cinema, a hamlet in ruins, the appearance of a chased "maqui".
The basic drama is at the parents, belonging to the generation of the war. She is still a young woman married a breeding introvert of honeycombs, who writes letters to someone who loves. Between them they are ignored.
The critique has given too much importance to the situation of the sisters opposite to the reality when it is not the most important aspect of the movie in spite of that the own director considers the girls to be a fundamental element of his work. The real merit of the movie is the scene of a Spain destroyed materially and ideologicaly where the habitants strain in adjusting to rigid traditionals customs as if they continued to be figures of previous times, human beings who already have died but continue there surviving, dedicated to the labors of the field or raising bees, or writing letters to impossible loves.
Children's so frequent utilization in the Italian neorealism influenced enormously the Spanish cinema of postwar period. It was an easy resource to generate a bit of tenderness in the hard existence that was supported in these years. Movies as Marcelino bread and wine (1955), led by the child Pablito Calvo, descend directly from the sensibility of the Italian postwar period. Both only full-lenght films of Victor Erice (1973 and 1983), constructed on infantile prominent figures and scenes " to sky opened ", they are a late tax to the Italian neorealism to show the social misery that left the Spanish civil war. The critique celebrated this honoring to the good cinema in a period that the censorship was suppressed and were possible produce in Spain hundreds of banal movies of "destape" (free sex). This circumstance, for contrast, would contribute decisively to his surprising success. It was connecting the traditional movies of infantile actors of the Franco's regime, which the public was enjoying seeing, with the new situation of freedom that was beginning in Spain but without falling down either in the lack of good taste or the sexual immodesty of the moment.
The landscape of the rural population that It Victor Erice portrays in The spirit of the beehive only can be given after a civil war that has devastated everything, up to the feelings. The girls are foreign to this problematics, ignore the distressing reality that surrounds them, they try to define the reality of the fantasy as any other child, where up to Frankenstein's myth it has content. Her games and attitudes put a touch of humanity in the monotonous landscape.
The movie does not need any more individual prominent figures, they do not exist, only they are felt. The cameras focus the home of a marriage that is an almost invisible family, where nobody speak, nothing produces either happiness or sadness to them, where it is not lived. A home in the ghostly villages of postwar period. The beauty of the images owes to the work of Luis Cuadrado, the same one who was at the expense of the photography of Ana and the wolves of Saura and of Pascual Duarte of Ricardo Franco.
The spirit of the beehive is a slightly original imitation of the neorealist Italian cinema, a sample more of cine-retro in the twilights of the Franco's regime, but that exactly for his lack of imagination and humor it contains a high instructive value: with thirty years of delay, it put ahead the dark spirit of the Spain that left the civil war.Leopoldo de Trazegnies Granda
DATOS TECNICOS:Film: Color / 35 mm
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