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Summer 1993 Image

Summer 1993

Estiu 1993

Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema

This film marks the arrival of two special talents. Firstly, there’s writer-director Carla Simón, who in her debut feature demonstrates astonishing assurance behind the camera. Then there’s little Laia Artigas, who gives a downright superb performance as six-year-old Frida. As the movie begins, this young orphan is being driven away to the country, to be raised by uncle Esteve (David Verdaguer) and aunt Marga (Bruna Cusi). Simón gives us the backstory slowly, through ominous hints: shame surrounding the parents’ deaths, regular visits to the doctor for Frida, panic when she cuts her knee on the playground.

This youngster is a mysterious, unsettling presence at first—all wide, burning eyes and blank facial expressions. The focus of nearly every scene, Frida gets more and more troublesome as the film goes on, until she lets go with an emotional outpouring that’s as moving as it is convincing. God knows how the director got such a performance from Artigas, but she must have built a great bond of trust with her to elicit such natural, unguarded feeling. This is a supremely restrained film, but it’s far from tranquil: its slow pace and quiet tone conceal a core of love and grief.

"Authentic and memorable… add Artigas to the list of talented fledgling performers able to both act and articulate the inner state of being a child in times of trouble."—Sarah Ward, Screen

Best First Feature, Berlin 17

Canadian premiere
Director Carla Simon
Country of Origin: Spain
Year: 2017
Running Time: 96 mins
Format: DCP
Language:In Catalan with English subtitles
Cast: Laia Artigas, Paula Robles, Bruna Cusí, David Verdaguer, Fermi Reixacha
Executive Producer: Valérie Delpierre, Maria Zamora
Producer: Valérie Delpierre
Cinematographer: Santiago Racaj
Editor: Didac Palou, Ana Pfaff
Production Design: Mireia Graell
Music: Ernest Pipo, Pau Boigues
Production Company: Inicia Films / Avalon
Print Source: Oscilloscope Laboratories

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