The Night of the Sunflowers (La Noche de los girasoles)
Cert: 15 Year: 2006 Length: 123 mins Language: Spanish
Most of the events in this debut film occur during the dusk or deepest dark of a rural Spanish night, where even the street lights stop working. A young woman is raped and murdered in a field of sunflowers on the edge of the village.
The Night of the Sunflowers is an ensemble piece with overlapping narratives that unfold through the morally ambiguous darkness of a small community threaded with hidden secrets, half truths and madness.
The likely rapist is revealed to us early on in the film - by which time various men are paraded before us as possible guilty parties, and the director's focus is on the potential for wrongdoing which is shared by all of them. Even the least expected are spurred on to act immorally by the extremity of their circumstances.
An exquisitely performed mosaic of community breakdown.
Anton Bitel, Film4
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