“Cria cuervos is a sad film, yes. But that’s part of my belief that childhood is one of the most terrible parts in the life of a human being. What I’m trying to say is that at that age you’ve no idea where it is you are going, only that people are taking you somewhere, leading you, pulling you and you are frightened. You don’t know where you’re going or who you are or what you are going to do. It’s a time of terrible indecision.” – director Carlos Saura
Set almost entirely in a large, gloomy house walled up against the chaotic life of Madrid outside. Cria Cuervos paints a haunting portrait of the legacy of Fascism and its effects on a middle-class family. Ana Torrent portrays the disturbed eight-year-old Ana, living in Madrid with her two sisters and mourning the death of mother, whom she conjures as a ghost (played by an ethereal Geraldine Chaplin). And shortly after her mother passes, Ana finds her philandering father dead in bed with a married lover. Frosty Aunt Paulina arrives to look after the young girl and her two sisters. The all-female household is completed by the children’s grandmother, mute and immobile in a wheelchair, and the feisty, fleshy housekeeper, Rosa (veteran character actress Florinda Chico), who fills Ana in on the mysteries of sex. Seamlessly shifting between fantasy and reality, the film subtly evokes both the complex feelings of childhood and the struggles of a nation emerging from the shadows.
-excerpt from DVD notes
I’ll admit…this movie is a little dark, dead parents and lonely children, harsh subject matter. But there’s so much more to this great film, it transports you into the mind of an 8yr old girl who’s split between two worlds, her make believe one and the heavy real one. She doesn’t know how to cope with what just happened so her imagination runs wild and she starts talking to her dead mother and re-lives past memories that interweave with reality. The film is not all morose though, the 3 young actresses playing the sisters have perfect chemistry making for some very memorable scenes. Also there is this amazing song by Jeanette called “Por Que Te Vas” that reoccurs throughout the film making the viewing experience even better, and you can get it below…
And here’s a scene from the film…i couldn’t find it w/ English subtitles