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To Die In San Hilario
Time Out says
The sole source of revenue in the remote Spanish village of San Hilario is literally a dying industry – its glorious cemetery and bespoke burial services. Trouble is, the villagers are short on clients, who prefer the speedy funeral services of the city, so when an ailing famous artist, Germán Cortes, travels to San Hilario to die, the locals spy a chance to revitalise their fortunes. But when Germán dies en route, his place is taken by a career criminal (Lluís Homar), on the run from the cops and the mob. Set in the ’30s amid some impressive desert locations, Laura Mañá’s movie is a handsomely mounted period piece that maintains an agreeably light tone and boasts some characterful turns from its largely veteran cast– few in the village are under 60. But while the film’s blend of magic realism, morbid farce and homely sentimentality may have played well in Spain, it may strike UK viewers as excessively twee. Often confusing – how exactly Germán’s funeral will save the village is never clear – and overstuffed with incident, the film drags even at less than 100 minutes. If you want to see a warm-hearted Spanish comedy about mortality, wait for Almodovár’s ‘Volver’