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HALF OF THE SKY

Spain, 1986 (MIFF 1987)

Director: Manuel Gutierrez Aragon

Half Of The Sky, directed by Manuel Gutierrez Aragon (Demons In The Garden), is one of the most highly praised Spanish films of recent years. It blends a tale of working class ambitions with old world mystery and superstition.

The film focuses on Rosa (Angela Molina), the daughter of a hard-working rural family who travels to Madrid with her infant daughter following an ill-fated affair.

With tenacity and cunning Rosa starts out as the owner of a tiny market stall and soon becomes the proprietor of one of the city's most respectable restaurants: a meeting place for politicians during the Franco regime. The customers at the restaurant provide a backdrop for events in Rosa's life, notably her relationships with a young student and with her benefactor.

Well acted and directed, the film uses lyrical symbols and occasional humour to trace Rosa's life in Madrid and to provide a parable of the country during Franco's reign.

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