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The Spirit of the Beehive(El espíritu de la colmena)

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Spain · 1973
1h 37m
Director Víctor Erice
Starring Fernando Fernán Gómez, Teresa Gimpera, Ana Torrent, Isabel Tellería
Genre Drama, Fantasy

In the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, a screening of Frankenstein in a rural Spanish village has a profound impact on 7 year-old Ana, causing her to question life and to embark on a search for the monster. Her search leads her to a Loyalist soldier, hiding in a barn on the outskirts of the village.

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What are people saying?

Kenny Nixon Profile picture for Kenny Nixon

probably my favorite performance by a child in any film, and the scene where the villagers all bring their chairs to the theater to watch Frankenstein never fails to move me

What are critics saying?


The New York Times by Dana Stevens

The Spirit of the Beehive, like "Cinema Paradiso," also takes place at the particular intersection of reality and fantasy defined by youthful moviegoing.


Chicago Reader by Dave Kehr

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.


Village Voice by Michael Atkinson

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.


Boston Globe by Wesley Morris

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.

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