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FILMS / REVIEWS Spain

Review: Guilt

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- Filmmaker Ibon Cormenzana and actress Manuela Vellés compel the audience to feel the confusion, desperation and the feeling implicit in the title of the film

Review: Guilt
Manuela Vellés in Guilt

A few weeks ago, the Malaga Festival screened Beyond the Summit [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ibon Cormenzana
film profile
]
, a film directed by Ibon Cormenzana in which Patricia López Arnaiz plays a mountain climber who takes refuge in a cabin, far from everything, fleeing from something traumatic that is never explained, but that can be sensed through her coarseness, coldness and few words. Now the producer (of successes like Blancanieves [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pablo Berger
film profile
]
) is releasing Guilt on 6 May in Spanish cinemas, after screening at the BCN Film Fest  and with the distribution of  No tan chalados. The film has certain parallels with his previous work and has been made with the collaboration and full support of his partner, the actress Manuela Vellés.

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The protagonist of films such as Chaotic Ana, Camino [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Happy Sad [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(by Cormenzana himself) was already immersed in the fear of gender-based violence in the short film El orden de las cosas, by the Esteban Alenda brothers, back in 2010. But Guilt takes it further, as the camera remains focused on her throughout the whole film (reminiscent of Madre [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rodrigo Sorogoyen
film profile
]
, by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, produced by Cormenzana) and the script –written by the performer together with the director– follows her as she flees to go isolate in nature.

From the beginning of the film, we sense the imminence of the aggression that Anna's character is about to suffer, and we are terrified by the idea. Therein lies one of the greatest achievements of the film, in how it films (with the attack out of shot, but not its harrowing sounds) on a mobile phone, the aggression suffered by a woman whose life will be turned upside down from that night onwards.

It is certainly hard to understand what such deep suffering (and the reactions that follow) is like if you have not experienced the cause of it. Cormenzana and Vellés, by using real life stories to write the plot, create a highly psychological plot, at times bordering on the implausible. But how can we attempt to describe these desperate reactions as logical? Besides, doesn't it border on dementia when you fall into a mental cesspool, with no answers or solutions in sight?

With its compelling condemnation of violence, Guilt joins titles that also address this terrible social issue, such as the short film Suc de Síndria, by Irene Moray (2019 Goya winner), and Unfinished Affairs [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juan Miguel del Castillo
film profile
]
, by Juan Miguel del Castillo, which premieres a week after this film that disturbs and unsettles to unimaginable heights.

Guilt –which has its world premiere at the Vancouver Independent Film Festival, where Manuela Vellés received the award for best actress– is a production of No tan chalados, in association with Luna3 and Mundo Cero. It will be available on the Filmin platform from the 13th of this month. International sales are managed by Filmax.

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(Translated from Spanish by Vicky York)

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