A former assistant to Victor Erice, director Alvarez was the last baby born in the northwest Spanish village of La Aldea, population 14 at last count. In 2003, she returned after a 25-year absence for this wistful semi-documentary eulogy – a seasonal catalogue of the area’s Iberian Celtic sights, high-lonesome sounds (wind turbines, baa-ing sheep), and chatty oldsters. Lucid in its regrets, the film nods to Erice’s ‘The Quince Tree Sun’ in observing a painter at work, Pello Azketa; he is losing his sight, just as Alvarez’s town is fading into history.
Mercedes Alvarez, Arturo Redín
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