Saw this movie on flight back from Mexico. Tremendous. Very quiet. Let’s say it is the opposite of triumphalism, fascism, inyourfaceism, and instead embodies every virtue related to empathy, caring, and grace. Of course watching a movie like this on an airplane is already a recipe for teary sniffling, but when two-thirds of the way through the movie prominently features the song Eres tú, from the Basque/Spanish youth group Mocedades, which came out in 1973, and you know only a tiny fraction of all humanity was also 11 years old that same year (like me) and grew up speaking Spanish (like me) and was very shy (like me), and associates that kind of folky, choral guitar song with all the young people who were brutalized by fascist regimes like Franco’s (like me), well then you will be crying a torrent inside, for all the lost souls.
A nice review here:
Ana Cristina Barragan’s Alba. A mostly wordless, beautifully understated study of the multiple growing pains of a cripplingly shy 11-year-old girl, the film follows a series of Barragan shorts on the theme of troubled childhood. It is loaded with weepie potential but diligently shuns the facile at every turn, playing it for an emotional truthfulness which is embodied in a fine, trembling central performance by Macarena Arias and in its sensitive, empathetic script. Alba has been garnering festival plaudits, most recently at Toulouse’s Latin American film platform, but deserves more.