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Cría cuervos in May

One of cinema’s most hauntingly vivid depictions of a child’s fantasy-imbued reality, Cría cuervos is a darkly unsettling and deeply touching film which stands as a landmark of Spanish cinema. Released for the first time in the UK, on 27 May 2013, this BFI Dual Format Edition (DVD and Blu-ray discs) also contains an hour-long portrait of Carlos Saura (Carmen, Blood Wedding) and an on-stage interview with the director.

Shot in the summer of 1975 as General Franco lay dying, Saura's masterpiece takes its title from a sinister Spanish proverb: Raise ravens and they'll pluck out your eyes.

Eight-year-old Ana (the spellbinding Ana Torrent from The Spirit of the Beehive) lives in a mysterious mansion in central Madrid, cut off from the roaring traffic and urban bustle by a high-walled garden. Recently orphaned, she believes herself to have poisoned her cold, authoritarian father (Héctor Alterio), a high-ranking military man whom she blames for the death of her much adored, musically gifted mother (Geraldine Chaplin in a performance of exquisite tenderness). Now cared for, along with her two sisters, by her uptight, scolding Aunt Paulina (Mónica Randall), Ana has ample opportunity to observe the frustrations – emotional, sexual, and professional – of her adult female relatives. This is a world of secrets and lies in which only the family maid Rosa (Florinda Chico) will respond frankly to questions about sex or the Spanish Civil War.

Cría cuervos was nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Grand Prize at Cannes in 1977. It enjoyed a highly successful BFI theatrical release in June 2011 when it received 5 star reviews.

Special Features

• Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition;
• Portrait of Carlos Saura (José Luis López-Linares, 2004, 63 mins, DVD only)
• On-stage interview with Carlos Saura (2012, 23 mins, DVD only)
• Optional alternative English language soundtrack;
• Original theatrical trailers;
• Illustrated booklet featuring new essays and notes from Maria Delgado, Mar Diestro-Dópido and Michael Brooke.


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