30 October 2004 | newland80
Based on true events
Carlos Saura has been one of our finest directors for almost five decades, and, after a bunch of irregular films in the nineties, returns in top form with "El séptimo día". Based on the tragic true events happening in 1992 in Spain, the film captures the essence of the maddening atmosphere that gave way to the slaughter of Puerto Hurraco.
In Spain there is little tradition of portraying real-life events in film. Writers Loriga and Saura were actually heavily criticized by some, as if their film would bring back the painful memories that most people had chosen to forget. However, their film portrays the slaughter and the events that led to it with gusto and with no sign of sensationalism.
In fact, a great part of the film is devoted to depict the summer romance of a young girl (Yohana Cobo, what a discovery) and a lifeguard (Oriol Vila, another breakthrough). Thus, the murderers (outstanding Juan Diego, José Luis Gómez, Victoria Abril and Ana Wagener) are relegated to a secondary subplot for almost half of the film.
Saura managed to assemble one of the greatest casts of the last few years. Apart from the aforementioned, José García, Eulalia Ramón, Carlos Hipólito and, in bit parts, Elia Galera, Juan Sanz and Carlos Kaniowski are worth mentioning for their excellent work in "El séptimo día".
The best: the cast and the good taste in filming a real-life tragedy. The worst: that some people criticized it before they had even seen it. They should not forget that we are bound to repeat our history if we choose to forget it.