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A true masterpiece. Even better than Spirit of the Beehive
A decade after The Spirit of the Beehive, Spanish director Víctor Erice made El Sur (The South), a film that has a lot in common with Beehive - a young girl whose imagination seems to translate events into the supernatural, an important father-daughter relationship, a crucial plot point being an old film played at the local cinema, the Spanish Civil War casting a shadow over the film - but it is less enigmatic. Or rather, the enigma dissipates over time. In this quiet story, a young girl is fascinated by her mysterious father, a water diviner, who left the South never to return, making myth of the place in her childish eyes. Everything he does is a mystery to her. As a child, she invents magical solutions to her question. As a teenager, her questions become frustrations. As an adult (from which vantage point she is telling the story), there may or may not be understanding. As with Beehive, the innocence is inversely proportional to that understanding, but the film is less elliptical, the enigma remaining with the girl, not with the audience. Obviously, it's beautifully shot as well, though I find it less inventive than its sister film.
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In 6 official lists
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This movie ranks #7 in Nickel Odeón Top Spanish films until 1995
This movie ranks #7 in Caimán's Top Spanish Films
This movie ranks #159 in iCheckMovies - Most Favorite
This movie ranks #631 in They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
This movie ranks #683 in UNESCO's Memory of the World: National Cinematic Heritage
This movie ranks #1121 in The Criterion Collection