September 05, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Spirit of the Beehive

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Teresa Gimpera, Fernando Fernan Gomez, Ana Torrent
director
Victor Erice
author
Victor Erice, Francisco J. Querejeta, Angel Fernandez Santos
genre
Drama, Foreign Language
We gave it a B+

In The Spirit of the Beehive, while papa (Fernando Fernán Gómez) tends to bees and mom writes to an old lover, daughters Isabel and Ana see a traveling movie of Frankenstein in their 1940 Spanish village. Isabel claims to have seen the monster alive, so Ana (a blazingly charismatic Ana Torrent) sets out to find it. Director Victor Erice’s exquisite, serene visuals mask an enigmatic plot that touches on childhood innocence, fascism and the power of film to ignite the imagination. EXTRAS include probing (and occasionally pretentious) docs and frank interviews: Even now, says Gómez, he hasn’t nailed the meaning of the film.

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