Director Paz Fábrega / 2021 / Costa Rica

An unplanned pregnancy unites two very different Costa Rican women in unique ways.

Fortysomething architect Luisa teaches art to children in her spare time. When she discovers a student’s older sister in the bathroom, having unsuccessfully tried to induce an abortion, her maternal instinct takes over. Initially stepping into a surrogate-parent role for 17-year-old Yuliana, who insists she cannot tell her own mother about the pregnancy, Luisa soon finds that the compassionate support she offers evolves into something more ambiguous – part best friend, part mentor – that both women welcome, even if they don’t quite know how to navigate it.

Evoking the work of Kelly Reichardt, Paz Fábrega imbues this poignant drama with a gentle, low-key vitality. As Luisa and Yuliana, non-professional actors Rebecca Woodbridge and Raquel Villalobos deliver sagacious, intricate performances, while cinematographer María Secco fills every frame with a delicate, irresistible light. Thoughtful, tender and compelling, Aurora is a masterclass in no-frills filmmaking and a deft depiction of women finding mutual solace amid an unsympathetic society.

“A delicate, minutely observed study of two unconventional female characters … As a portrait of the complexities of motherhood, it is unusually satisfying.” – Screen Daily

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