Las hijas de abril pelicula
Puerto Vallarta is the setting where conflicts escalate without haste after the birth of Abril’s (Suárez) first granddaughter. Thanks to the triad of protagonists from different generations, Franco faithfully recreates a feminine microcosm in which his minimalist directing style of few cuts, long takes, deep silences and measured camera movements palpitates.
In Las hijas de Abril he builds a paradox, because while he takes situations to the extreme, it is a fiction that does not take its finger off reality and is emotionally complex from the opening sequence, when we see a Clara devoted to housework while listening to her younger sister having sex with her boyfriend, a moment that sets a precedent of tone for the rest of the film and lets us see that this is just a sketch of what Franco has in store for us. In this way, Las hijas de Abril is another step in the solidification of a filmmaker who is aware of his style and what kind of stories he wants to tell.
crash landing on you
It is also worth noting the absence of Mateo and Valeria’s parents: his parents ignore the baby, throw him out of the house and prefer to avoid looking in the face the fact that they now have a granddaughter, Karen, to the point of wanting to give her up for adoption. Her’s: on the one hand, Valeria’s father, who is shining for his abandonment, closes the doors of his house to his daughter, pretending that nothing has happened.
Abril is the character that attracts the viewer’s gaze, the focal point from which to understand this current world in which adults relate to each other like teenagers and teenagers feel lost and without a direction to walk, without knowing where to look and why to continue living. It is significant, in this sense, the end of the film: Valeria gets into a cab with her baby and tells the driver to get going without having indicated an address; the cab driver insists several times to know the final destination; she only says: «you drive, now I’ll tell you where we are going».
the crime of father amaro
With an imposing Emma Suárez in her unpleasant and complex character, surrounded by young and brave actresses such as Ana Valeria Becerril or Joanna Larequi, the talented director shows himself once again as an excellent director of actresses as he already demonstrated with Tessa Ia in the aforementioned ‘Después de Lucía’, taking his characters to the emotional precipice, full of contradictions as human as they are little traveled when dealing with the subject of motherhood in cinema.
‘Las Hijas de Abril’ is cinema of impact, a drama that apparently talks about family relationships that turns dark and morbid, sexual and dramatic, with a truly disturbing final part. ‘Las Hijas de Abril’ won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the last Cannes Film Festival and competed in the Horizontes Latinos section of the San Sebastian Festival 2017, a film that speaks to us about possession, emancipation, selfishness and manipulation, through unbreakable family ties that, at times, can become a noose that tightens our neck.
In Cine y Pediatría we already had the opportunity to review Después de Lucía, a film about bullying and the loneliness of a teenager who has just lost her mother and has just moved from Puerto Vallarta to Mexico City.
The scene where Abril abandons her granddaughter in the bar is chilling? But no less disturbing than the final scene with Valeria fleeing in a cab with her daughter, leaving everyone and everything behind… aimlessly, but with her daughter. Two mothers, Karen’s Valeria, Abril’s Valeria, a dysfunctional family where the grandmother decides to live a second youth at any cost.
Possibly a film in which the characters did not understand this reflection by José Saramago: «Son is a being that God lent us to do a crash course on how to love someone more than ourselves, how to change our worst defects to give them the best examples and, from us, to learn to have courage. Yes, that’s it! Being a parent is the greatest act of courage anyone can have, because it is exposing oneself to all kinds of pain, mainly from the uncertainty of acting correctly and the fear of losing something so loved. Losing? How? Isn’t it ours? It was just a loan… The most precious and wonderful loan since they are ours only while they cannot fend for themselves, then they belong to life, to destiny and to their own families. May God always bless our children, for he has already blessed us with them».