The Spirit of the Beehive, like "Cinema Paradiso," also takes place at the particular intersection of reality and fantasy defined by youthful moviegoing.
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The extraordinary child actress Ana Torrent (Cria) made her debut here at the age of five. Much in the film is derivative, but Erice excels in precise evocations of childhood feelings.
Beehive is a graceful and potent lyric on children's vulnerable hunger, but it's also a sublime study on cinema's poetic capacity to reflect and hypercharge reality.
This is a modest marvel of grace and framing that unfolds with the patience of a cloud and is driven more by wonder than pure emotion. It doesn't have the exuberance of Francois Truffaut 's "Small Change." Instead, it's that movie's antonym, yet just as wondrous.