The Night Of The Sunflowers

The Night Of The Sunflowers


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

With a jigsaw puzzle plot, linking via characters whose paths cross unexpectedly, Night Of The Sunflowers manages to be tense yet resolutely downbeat, exploring the evil that men apparently need barely any encouragement to do in small town Spain.

Estaban (Carmelo Gomez) and his wife Gabi (Judith Diakhate) travel to a pueblo looking for a cave which may or may not hold historic interest. After a random attack, things take a revenge twist with menaces, and misidentification leads to further tragedy and some Machiavellian machinations from the local constabulary.

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To tell you much more in plot terms would definitely be to say too much, since this is a film in which, after the initial big bang - chillingly rendered - very little really happens. Also, the unfolding of events becomes somewhat predictable despite the skewed perspectives.

The acting is pretty faultless across the board, particularly from Diakhate, who captures confused hysterics perfectly. The character of small town Spain is also well-fleshed out - although it's a shame the inhabitants are less compelling, since we desperately need to care more than we do about the events that unfold.

Although this is a very assured feature debut, displaying plenty of potential for the future, there is something too clever about the way in which writer/director Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo keeps taking the plot on a circular tour, returning again and again to events, each time from a slightly different angle. This has the curious effect of diminishing the tension, rather than building it.

Ultimately, this morally ambiguous curiosity has too much chill and not enough thrill, despite the cracking performances and excellent scoring from Krishna Levy, which certainly adds to the mood.

Reviewed on: 10 May 2007
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Violence bubbles up in small town Spain.
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Director: Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo

Writer: Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo

Starring: Mariano Alameda, Celso Bugallo, Nadia Casado, Judith Diakhate, Cesáreo Estébanez, Carmelo Gómez, Amalia Hornero, Emma Martín, Enrique Martínez, Petra Martínez, Ramón Martinez

Year: 2006

Runtime: 123 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Spain


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