Spain, 2009, 123 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Coming Out, Drama, Gay, Latino/a, Sex Work
Program: World Cinema
Language: Basque/Spanish

DIRECTOR: Roberto Castón

In the verdant hills of Basque country, a small farming family struggles to hold on to the old way of life and the traditional family. Fortysomething Ander milks the cows, herds the sheep and works part-time in a local factory. His widowed mother can’t stop fretting about the sad state of their family affairs. She shames her son for failing to marry and for bringing another needed hand to work the farm, and she holds her own would-be suitor Evaristo at a dour arm’s length. She even manages to turn her daughter Arantxa’s impending marriage into something vaguely shameful to her family, by underscoring Ander’s bachelorhood.

Set against an El Greco-like background, act one follows Ander as he struggles to squeeze a few drops of bittersweet joy out of his existence. The meditative pacing and long, wistfully lingering scenes allow this film to breathe. Ander hangs out with his neighbor Pelo in his free time, as they carouse with the local prostitute and single mother Reme. In a desperate need for an able-bodied hand following an accident, he agrees to hire the sensitive and intelligent José, a young Peruvian, to help around the farm and household.

In the second part of this drama, magic begins to bubble up, as new definitions of family begin to develop. Three outsiders, Ander, José, and Reme discover each other among the ruins of the past and the quest for the future. — LES WRIGHT

Text Voting Code: F110


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