The story in 'Clara Sola', which premiered in Cannes in July 2021, takes place in Costa Rica, in a mountain village, located at the edge of a tropical forest whose strength and immensity oppresses. People try to defend themselves by drawing borders and raising fences. Will these become the limits of their own psychological and social prisons? This is the feature film debut of director Nathalie Alvarez Mesen, who lives in Sweden and has studied cinema in Sweden, Germany and the United States. For this film she worked with an international team composed mostly of women. It is a film about women, written and directed by women, made and acted mostly by women. A film with a feminine and feminist theme, a genre in which I have seen more and more productions in recent years. 'Clara Sola' is one of the most interesting of them.
Clara, the heroine of the film, is different from those around her. She is about 40 years old, she suffers from a disease of the spine that causes her physical pain. Her mother refuses the operation that could put an end to these sufferings, because she fears that becoming 'normal' Clara would lose the 'gifts' that make her special - the connection with the Holy Virgin (whose vision she once had) and the ability to you would heal those around you through prayers. Clara has problems communicating with people, she seems to get into dialogue with animals more easily, from bugs to the family's white horse. The closest human being is her 15 years old niece, the daughter of a sister who died, who is at the age of sexual maturity and first love. The coming to age of the niece triggers or revives the desires repressed for a long time in Clara's soul and body. Again, however, her severe mother tries to stifle the late awakening of these feminine instincts. The special being who is Clara will look for ways to free herself from these constraints.
The theme of the woman who tries to break the social and family circles that oppress her passes the screen mainly due to the original approach and the cinematic qualities of the film. Director Nathalie Alvarez Mesen has chosen to cast exclusively non-professional actors, which guarantees authenticity, because the characters do not 'act' but rather seem to live their lives in the presence of cameras. The only one in the cast who comes from the field of arts is Wendy Chinchilla Araya, but she is also not a professional actress but a dancer, and the way she portrays Clara's feelings on the screen is impressive. The cinematography signed by the Swede Sophie Winqvist is great in framing and composition, but the excessive use of scenes that take place in the dark irritated me at some point. The combination of lack of light and rendering of the characters' point of view sometimes leads to confusion about what is happening on the screen. This works for one scene, but not for half of a movie. The confusions of the characters do not necessarily have to be transmitted to the spectators, and if they happen in a scene they do not have to be repeated. This minus apart, 'Clara Sola' is a remarkable debut film, which manages to create an impressive and memorable female character, and Nathalie Alvarez Mesen is a director who deserves to be watched.
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In a remote village in Costa Rica, Clara, a withdrawn 40-year-old woman, experiences a sexual and mystical awakening as she begins a journey to free herself from the repressive religious and social conventions which have dominated her life
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
June 02, 2022 at 01:02 AM