| Impressive debut by Julia Solomonof--intelligent and intellectual
Director Julia Solomonof has shown viewers that she can present a work that has an assured pace of a structured thriller while presenting a film that is basically a character study of two sisters reacting differently under the Argentinan dictatorship and reign of terror in 1970. She has learned the craft from working with Walter Salles on "The motorcycle diaries" as an assistant director.
I saw this Spanish/Argentinan/Brazilian co-production at the recently concluded Dubai International Film Festival and was bowled over by the competence of the director and the performances of the actors especially that of the young boy interacting with his aunt.
The film reminded me in many ways of Hungarian director Zoltan Fabri's "The Fifth Seal", a film set in Hungary under Nazi occupation, where friends crack under fear and pressure. "Hermanas" looks at how an individual can place priorities on saving a near one from torture, while others look at the moral responsibility beyond the immediate kith and kin. The film leaves you disturbed: does the family matter more than a larger community? Even philosophers will find this disturbing to answer--which is why the late Fabri related the question to the opening of the Fifth Seal in the Book of Revelations.
Julia Solomonof has proved her mettle. Though I am physically far removed from Argentina, Spain or Brazil, I will watch out for her next directorial effort with anticipation.