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The Sky Turns (2011)

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Studio: New Yorker Films
Genre: Documentary, Foreign, Political & Social Issues, Spain
Running Time: 106 min.
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English

Winner of the top award at numerous film festivals, including Rotterdam and Buenos Aires, The Sky Turns is a sublime contemplation of time, memory, and mortality that evokes the work of Víctor Erice (The Spirit of the Beehive, El Sur, and Quince Tree of the Sun). After a 35-year absence, director Mercedes Álvarez returns to her native village Aldealseñor in remote northwest Spain. She was the last child born there; now only 14 aged inhabitants remain the last generation of a people that have carried on more than 1000 years of uninterrupted village life. Though her film is intensely personal, Álvarez yields the spotlight to the dwindling but tenacious villagers. The passing years have made them natural philosophers historians, and comedians. Álvarez s proxy within the film is her friend, the painter Pello Azketa. The villagers and Azketa share something in common: things have begun to disappear before their eyes. Azketa s encroaching blindness mirrors the film s theme of dimming memory, and his nebulous landscapes offer a key to the region s austere beauty.

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