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The film Cria Cuervos by Carlos Saura is a coming of age-drama about eight year old Ana and her two sisters after both of their parents pass away. As a result, Ana grows to become a disturbed child because of her haunting past. Nostalgia and death are recurring themes in the film as reflected through the film. The contrast between reality and imagination is beautifully blurred by various technical and narrative techniques. Techniques and devices like plot, setting and cinematography work together in order to tell this story.
The story is told by the main character Ana. This means that the storyline could be understood as her own perspective and views. At some points in the film, an older version of Ana appears and she sorrowfully reflects on her past. This skews time and space for audience which can be confusing due to the fact that the same actress plays the mother of Ana and the older version. But this also brought me to the idea that Ana and her mother are very similar and connected in a sense. Her mother is definitely depressed and mentally distraught as Ana is. From the way Ana talks about her past as an adult, you can see it still daunts her. Ana is the middle child in her family which has the stigma of being a problem child. This minute detail is why the storyline would fit best with her character. Despite her rough childhood, she still shares a close bond with two sisters as she reminisces on the Summer when she was eight years old.
The technical aspects in this film tell a story that jumps through time and space. For example, Ana will be in her present day but imagining a moment from her past. The camera will make a shift with new characters that appear in the scene. The characters usually being her deceased parents. In these scenes, she tends to be remembering the negative moments in her life. This signifies that some sort of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is being triggered from her setting. The cinematography between these scenes blend really well while making it comprehensible to the audience that there is a change in time. In addition, these scenes happen often late at night when Ana wonders the house as everyone is asleep. It can be seen that she might be just be dreaming but nothing confirms it. The fact that this happens at night emphasizes that Ana is remembering an actual “dark” past. Examples of this are when she seen her father die and when she tried to see if she killed her Aunt Paulina.
The coming of age-drama by Carlos Saura, titled Cria Cuervos, explores the themes of nostalgia and death. Ana’s obsession with death and the past is symbolic to the plot and character development of Ana and the world around her. In contempt of depression, Ana remembers times good times of her mother and sisters. The cinematography in the film is vital to the time and setting of the film, as well as the narrative. Certain camera movements and blocking techniques manipulate time and space while telling two different stories. This depressing film brings you through a wave of emotions by means of Ana’s story. In conclusion, I think it was a great film that makes me think that we all have a past.
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