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THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE

Spain, 1973 (MIFF 1974)

Director: Victor Erice

This is the first full-length feature from Victor Erice. It deals with childhood fantasies and family relationships. On a Sunday in 1940. a cinema truck visits a small town in the Castilian plains. In an improvised theatre, two young girls, Isabel and Ana, see the film 'Doctor Frankenstein'. The younger sister, Ana, asks Isabel why the monster kills people, and is told that the monster is a spirit, who is able to appear as a friend, if called by the recital of certain words.

For Isabel this is only a game, but for Ana it becomes reality, and she looks for the monster, calling him. The old cottage where the little girls live with their parents is gradually occupied by a mysterious presence, which only Ana tries to discover. Her parents have no suspicion of what is going on in the little girl's mind. One day she disappears. After an anguished search, she is found; but no-one except herself will know the end of the adventure.

Golden Shell, San Sebastian. Silver Hugo, Chicago.

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