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THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE
aka EL ESPIRITU DE LA COLMENA
UK: Optimum Releasing
Cast: Fernando Fernan Gómez, Teresa Gimpera, Ana Torrent, Isabel Telleria, Ketty de la Camara, Estanis Gonzalez, Jose Villasante, Juan Francisco Margallo, Laly Soldevila, Miguel Picazo
Director: Victor Erice
Language: Spanish (English subtitles)
UK: 97 mins
UK Certificate: PG contains mild violence and distress
UK Release Date: 19 September 2003
Filmed in 1973 under the Franco regime, the film is about two young girls, an eight-year old girl called Ana, superbly played by Ana Torrent, as its central character and her elder sister Isabel (Isabel Telleria). Living in a Castilian village in 1940 their mother Teresa (Teresa Gimpera) dreamily writes letters to imaginary friends while their father Fernando (Fernando Fernan Gómez) concentrates on his bees keeping a small beehive inside the family home. The girls meanwhile excitedly watch James Whale's FRANKENSTEIN in the makeshift village cinema which sparks their imaginations.
Director Victor Erice's seminal film, THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE is a visually poetic, haunting and allegorical film of innocence and isolation enhanced by his skilful camera techniques and the simplicity of the scenes.