Monday, October 5, 2009

53 DIAS DE INVIERNO
(53 WINTER DAYS)

Pelicula: 8th Spanish Film Festival
Cinema 1, Greenbelt 3




An abandoned dog triggers the plot of this social awareness tale which delves into the lives of 3 individuals. One cold winter night, 3 complete strangers waiting in a bus stop witness a dog being left behind by its 'owner' who drives off in his car.

Mila is a middle aged teacher recovering from a traumatic experience. It is her first day back at school after a year sabbatical. An unassuming yet attractive woman with a kind heart, she tries to find the strength and courage to forget the disturbing incident. An attack by a student which has scarred her for life.

Valeria is a young musician (cellist) who is having an affair with the instructor/conductor of the quartet. A guy old enough to be her father. Her volatile relationship is heightened as her own mother has lost her joie de vivre after Valeria's father leaves her for a much younger woman.

Celso is a security guard at a department store in a big mall who finds out his wife is pregnant with twins. Hardly able to make ends meet with his meager salary, he resorts to drastic measures which consequently turns his life up side down.

The film alternates between presenting the lives of the 3 strangers without overlapping each other. Each day is introduced on the screen as Monday, Tuesday until Sunday. But I'm not really sure they all amounted to 53 days. I assume it does. I was more concerned with the abrupt editing as some scenes just ended inconclusively. Suddenly the scene says February mid way during the film and resumes with Monday, Tuesday etc yet again.

Despite its simplistic approach, the film had a rather powerful effect. It touched on the subjects of loneliness, sadness, fear, courage and desperation - sometimes all rolled into one in just one scene. At the core of these human interest stories is how different people cope with the obstacles and struggles one faces in life.

Filmed entirely in Spanish with English subtitles, this poignant movie doesn't aim to judge its characters for their course of action but rather makes one wonder what would we do if we found ourselves in their situations? A question that begs to be answered without prejudice nor pride hampering our decisions because after all when it comes to real life, the adage "one size fits all" doesn't apply.

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