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The Spirit of the Beehive (Criterion Collection) (1973)

Cast: Fernando Fernán Gómez, Fernando Fernán Gómez, Fernando Fernán Gómez, more...
Director: Victor Erice, Victor Erice, Victor Erice
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Spain, Coming of Age , Criterion Collection
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English

Synopses
The Spirit of the Beehive (Criterion Collection) (1973)
Widely regarded as a masterpiece of Spanish cinema, this allegorical tale is set in a remote village in the 1940s. The life in the village is calm and uneventful -- an allegory of Spanish life after General Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War. While their father (Fernando Fernán Gómez) studies bees in his beehive and their mother (Teresa Gimpera) writes letters to a non-existent correspondent, two young girls, Ana (Ana Torrent) and Isabel (Isabel Telleria), go to see James Whale's Frankenstein at a local cinema. Though they can hardly understand the concept, both girls are deeply impressed with the moment when a little girl gives a flower to the monster. Isabel, the older sister, tells Ana that the monster actually exists as a spirit that you can't see unless you know how to approach him. Ana starts wandering around the countryside in search of the kind creature. Instead, she meets an army deserter, who is hiding in a barn. The film received critical accolades for its subtle and masterful use of cinematic language and the expressive performance of the young Ana Torrent. ~ Yuri German, All Movie Guide

The Spirit of the Beehive (Criterion Collection) (Bonus Disc) (1973)
Widely regarded as a masterpiece of Spanish cinema, this allegorical tale is set in a remote village in the 1940s. The life in the village is calm and uneventful  an allegory of Spanish life after General Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War. While their father (Fernando Fernán Gómez) studies bees in his beehive and their mother (Teresa Gimpera) writes letters to a non-existent correspondent, two young girls, Ana (Ana Torrent) and Isabel (Isabel Telleria), go to see James Whale's Frankenstein at a local cinema. Though they can hardly understand the concept, both girls are deeply impressed with the moment when a little girl gives a flower to the monster. Isabel, the older sister, tells Ana that the monster actually exists as a spirit that you can't see unless you know how to approach him. Ana starts wandering around the countryside in search of the kind creature. Instead, she meets an army deserter, who is hiding in a barn. The film received critical accolades for its subtle and masterful use of cinematic language and the expressive performance of the young Ana Torrent.

GreenCine Says: The Spirit of the Beehive (Criterion) ($29.97). Back in 1999, Derek Malcolm wrote: "I once showed a dozen or so classic non-American films to students at the Royal College of Art. To my surprise, despite the fact that the list included the work of such world-renowned directors as Luis Bunuel, Satyajit Ray and Kenji Mizoguchi, the film they fell in love with was Victor Erice's The Spirit of the Beehive." "A wonderfully allusive and poetic account of childhood in Franco's Spain," (Peter Lennon, Guardian UK), and long considered one of the great lost masterpieces, this truly beautiful film is now no longer lost, thanks to Criterion.


GreenCine Member Ratings

The Spirit of the Beehive (Criterion Collection) (1973)
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7.82 (57 votes)
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The Spirit of the Beehive (Criterion Collection) (Bonus Disc) (1973)
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6.90 (10 votes)
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Moveline's 100 Best Foreign Films
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This list was published in Moveline's July 1996 issue.
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