Magazine article Screen International

'Food and Shelter': Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Food and Shelter': Review

Article excerpt

Dir. Juan Miguel del Castillo. Spain. 2015. 90mins.

A young woman rummages through the contents of a dumpster, tearing through the bin bags in search of salvageable food. Next to her, a vagrant with the same mission starts to sing, a wrenching flamenco lament that echoes around the bins and drifts up into the night. It's a rare moment of poetry in a brutally unsentimental portrait of poverty in southern Spain. There's an empathetic but unvarnished matter-of-factness to this account of single mother Rocio's (Natalia de Molina) subsistence at the sharp edge of Spain's economic crisis which evokes the films of Ken Loach at his most socially aware.

The film screens in the First Feature competition at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, having already won the Audience award and Best Actress at the Malaga Spanish Film Festival. Further festival outings seem likely, particularly at events with a focus on social issues. However, the relentlessly downbeat tone might make this a tough sell theatrically.

The setting is the Andalucian town of Jerez de la Frontera, 2012. Rocio, the mother of eight-year-old Adrian (Jaime Lopez), has been out of work for three and a half years. She doesn't receive any benefits, subsisting on the occasional twenty euros she earns for handing out leaflets. She hasn't paid her rent in eight months and her landlord is threatening her with eviction.

Her knee shakes nervously as she explains her circumstances to a welfare officer. In this, as with most of her encounters with people in power, del Castillo keeps the camera trained on Rocio's gaunt face. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.