Categories: Reviews

Criticism of ‘Sica’, magical realism with an aroma of sea, mountains and grass

Carla Subirana presents in ‘Sica’ a film that draws on autochthonous (Saura, Gutiérrez Aragón, Erice) and foreign (Olmi, Rossellini, Lucrecia Martel) sources.

    Carla Subirana premieres her long-awaited first fiction feature, when she already has behind her, apart from the collective ´Kanimambo´ (2012), two important works in the documentary field, ´Nadar´ (2008) and ´Fly´ (2012 ), representations that address, respectively, the private and the collective, the intimate and the institutional, from a prematurely consolidated authorial perspective. It is not surprising, therefore, that ´Sica´ is, above all, a female portrait in which the author has sought a comfortable complicit alter-ego, but This critic is somewhat annoyed at how easy it can be to label her lightly within the current of rural cinema and the feminine gaze that has revealed itself as a trend and formula in our cinema., and who drinks from both native sources (Saura, Gutiérrez Aragón, Erice) and foreign sources (Olmi, Rossellini, Lucrecia Martel). It is not hard to see the Costa da Morte portrayed in ´Sica´ as a geographical and spiritual extension of Carla Simón´s Alcarràs, Elena López Riera´s Oriola, Omar A. Razzak´s almost uninhabited Tenerife, and ´Ojos negros´ Teruel ( 2019) or the Catalan Pyrenees by Elena Trapé, among various examples. All in all, Galicia has some very specific characteristics, which brings ´Sica´ closer to the cinema of Eloy Enciso (´Longa Noite´, 2019) and, above all, to that of Louis Patiño, author of the documentary ´Costa da Morte´ (2003). and the captivating ´Lúa Vermella´ (2020), which also addressed the enigma of the men who disappeared at sea, which gives Subirana’s film a mysterious and almost esoteric aura that is intermingled with the shocking naturalness of the people. from Galicia and in which Sica, the protagonist, also functions as a transcript of the Nausicaa from the Homeric Odyssey.

    The sea and the weather

    It’s a pity that the elements of a magical fable weigh less in the course of the story than other conventions of the initiation story such as the relationship with the mother (again, excellent Nuria Prims), bullying or the discovery of love. The best moments of ´Sica´ are those in which Subirana allows himself to be dragged away by the force of his powerful enclave (excellent photography by Mauro Herce), gets lost in the overwhelming landscape and delves into the folds of a story where the poetic merge , the magical and the realistic and in which nothing needs to be fully explained, as in the prose of Wenceslao Fernández Flórez or Emilia Pardo Bazán. The result, without being insignificant, falls short of both her ambitions and what we could expect from her author. and, surely, what it will offer us in the near future. With everything, Subirana can boast of having achieved a film that, in the same way that Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Godfather’ smelled of freshly cooked pasta, manages to convey the aroma of the sea, the mountains and the grass, as well as the bewilderment of the first age, the mystery of desire and the salt of tears.

    For travelers of landscapes and enchanted childhoods

    The worst: the topical party for the kids.


    Address: Carla Subirana Cast: Thais García, Nuria Prims, Marco Antonio Florido, María Villaverde Country: Spain Year: 2023 Release date: 22–5-2023 Gender: Drama Script: Carla Subirana Duration: 91 min.

    Synopsis: Sica is obsessed with the sea returning her father’s body after a shipwreck on the Costa da Morte, Galicia. While she walks the cliffs she meets Suso, ‘the Storm Chaser’, a strange boy like her who awaits the arrival of Ofelia, the mother of all storms.

    Source: Fotogramas