Span­ish film to warm the heart

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

A FRESH, sweet, nat­u­ral au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal story of a trou­bled young­ster try­ing to set­tle in to a new home, Sum­mer 1993 is sure to be one of the high­lights of the 20th Span­ish Film Fes­ti­val.

Af­ter the death of her par­ents, the de­tails of which she is not en­tirely across yet, young Frida (Laia Ar­ti­gas) is sent to live at the coun­try home of her aunt Marga (Bruna Cusi), un­cle Blai (Jordi Figueras) and cousin Anna (Paula Robles).

They are fam­ily but there is still a small di­vide; Frida feels like she doesn’t quite fit in.

It doesn’t help that there is some­thing un­spo­ken about Frida that sep­a­rates her from the oth­ers: con­stant trips to the doc­tor, blood tests and a par­ent’s overreaction to Frida’s bleed­ing knee on the play­ground.

Frida quickly dis­cov­ers her sit­u­a­tion leads to emo­tions she has not felt be­fore.

Less about plot and more about ob­serv­ing hu­man be­hav­iour, Sum­mer 1993 wants us to ex­pe­ri­ence this sit­u­a­tion and feel like we are part of it.

Each scene is an achieve­ment

in nat­u­ral­ism. The ul­ti­mate gem is a one-shot scene of Frida, re­clined on a deck chair, sun­nies on and twig in her mouth in place of a cig­a­rette, em­u­lat­ing a di­va­like mother be­ing waited on hand and foot by her ‘daugh­ter’ Anna.

There is some­thing be­low Frida’s sur­face, a sub­tle re­sent­ment to­wards Anna that one would imag­ine any adopted or foster child would feel to­wards their new sib­ling who is blood­related to their par­ents.

There is a sense this may slip into melo­drama with a tragic in­ci­dent lurk­ing around the cor­ner, but writer/di­rec­tor Carla Si­mon Pipo sur­prises ev­ery step of the way.

The 20th Span­ish Film Fes­ti­val runs un­til May 17.

Laia Ar­ti­gas plays Frida in Sum­mer 1993.

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