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El Mar

October 17, 2015

EMSet against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath, El Mar tells the story of three young friends, Tur, Ramallo, and Francisca, who witness a brutal killing when a classmate avenges his father’s assassination upon another schoolmate, and then kills himself shortly thereafter. This secret will haunt Tur, Ramallo, and Francisca for the rest of their lives. Years later, the muscled, womanizing Ramallo reunites with his childhood friends when all three find themselves quarantined in a tuberculosis sanatorium.

Tur, now thin and pale, leans on religious fanaticism to avoid acting on his sexual urges towards Ramallo. He uses the cilce, wants to ‘die with enthusiasm like those in the circus with the lions’ and believes that ‘ God has his reasons.’ ‘Prayer works’

EM 2Francisca, now one of the nuns, helps ease the pain of the dying. Together again in this lonely outpost by the sea, they revisit their dark childhood and quickly become tormented by death, religion, and sex.

This film becomes one of the finest anti-war documents without resorting to pamphleteering: the end result has far greater impact because of its inherent story following children’s march toward adulthood.

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