The Night of the Sunflowers
2006, Spain-France-Portugal, 123’, Color, Spanish
Director: Jorge Sanchez-Cabezudo
Cast: Carmelo Gomez, Judith Diakhate, Celso Bugallo
Two startling crimes. A horrible mistake. Lives caught between revenge and justice…
A thriller where instinct and logic fight at every chance.
Set in Las Hurdes, the poor mountainous area of western Spain that gave its name to Luis Bunuel’s 1932 documentary about rural poverty, the movie is a thriller that makes one think of Rashomon, except that in this case, six views of the same day’s events are objectively presented. The first chapter introduces a sad, middle-aged travelling salesman, who turns out to be a serial rapist and murderer. His latest intended victim escapes, injured and traumatised, along a remote country road. In the second chapter, she’s revealed as the sophisticated wife of a geologist and potholer who’s called to the area to investigate a newly discovered cave and ends up in a folie a trois. Subsequent chapters bring in a querulous loner, a drifting nutter and two cops, one young and bent, the other old-fashionedly honest.