A Response to the film EN EL NOMBRE DE LA HIJA

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A response to the film EN EL NOMBRE DE LA HIJA , written for my Film Literature class in College. Please note a particular attention to the theme of 'Self' consciously noted in every film watched during the semester.

Submitted: September 29, 2014

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Submitted: September 29, 2014

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EN EL NOMBRE DE LA HIJA: RESPONSE

 

This film for me does what the last few films, ‘400 Blows’ and ‘Cria Cuervos’, have done so well. A lot of us at first argued that the adults were noticeably hollow, but I think in focusing too hard on that detail we were ignoring one of the greatest strengths of the film. As with so many other aspects of these movies, the parents are really there to facilitate the far more important narrative surrounding the children and their ongoing quest to make sense of the conflicted world around them. The somewhat stark and perhaps intentionally vacant elder characters only help to act as a narrative structure, forcibly reminding us that for the summer period, Manuela would be unable to escape the questions in her own head and would either confront them or let them fester. It is certainly a film with a lot of serious themes and ideas and yet through the subtle, well placed humor, I really began to remember what it was like for me growing up as a young child; the innocent discussion and nonstop questions, arguing with one another in a way you can only remember growing up. The performances never felt completely natural and yet the playful nature of the children and their style of acting lent a hand to the slightly more surreal core of the film. Particularly with regard to ‘Cria Cuervos’ these filmmakers have done a fantastic job creating a realistic universe only kids could know, always emphasizing the distinct separation between the children’s world and the outside world. With the influence of the adults almost entirely removed and only their opinions to reflect them, the children assume the roles normally filed by older characters and tackle the same issues facing people of all ages in a uniquely innocent and yet very advanced way. What we begin to see is a slow but yet brilliant development of character that shows wisdom even in the youngest ages, and by the end proves that even those stuck in their ways can find solace in the respect of all opinions, conflicting or alike. There was something humbling in the idea that we could potentially solve our petty differences in childhood to avoid further conflict in adulthood.

 


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