Víctor Erice’s ‘El Sur’ May be Incomplete, But Its Power Still Resonates Deeply: A Review

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Víctor Erice’s El Sur is one of the most beautiful coming-of-age films ever made, but it was only half of what the director had initially planned out. Yet even though we never saw the complete film, it still feels like a fully accomplished effort the way it is, and makes a case for how beautifully painterly the Spanish filmmaker’s style is. From watching Erice’s films, whether it be this or The Spirit of the Beehive, it’s easy to feel as if you are transported to another era, watching everything happen just as if you were there to witness all of this for yourself. But from watching El Sur, there’s a beautifully resonant quality that stretches far beyond the look of the beautiful cinematography but also in just how it portrays the nature of growing up. There was a point to which I found myself watching what I thought could have been a life that could have been just like that of my own, one that was only built upon by the discouragement placed upon me by a lifestyle that is only ever set to provide nothing but disappointment after another. But there’s a sense of optimism that Erice promises you that only makes El Sur so much more endearing, you could only ever come out wanting to look back on what more you could do with the time you have left.

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