Rent The South (1983)

3.5 of 5 from 107 ratings
1h 35min
Rent The South (aka El Sur) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
Recalling her youth in 1950s northern Spain, Estrella revisits her relationship with her beloved father Agustin, raised in the south, and realises how little she knew of him and his secrets. Victor Erice's delicate and mysterious film reveals his abiding fascination with memory and loss, missed opportunities and the links between private dreams and political realities. The performances, like the meticulously lit compositions and evocative soundtrack, are superb; Omero Antonutti is a charismatic Agustin, while Sonsoles Aranguren and Iciar Bollain shine as, respectively, the young and teenaged Estrella. Exquisitely beautiful, profoundly moving.
Actors:
, Sonsoles Aranguren, , , , , Maria Caro, , , , José García García Morilla
Directors:
Producers:
Elías Querejeta
Voiced By:
María Massip, José Luis Fernández 'Pirri'
Writers:
Víctor Erice, Adelaida García Morales
Aka:
El Sur
Studio:
BFI Video
Genres:
Children & Family, Classics, Drama, Romance
Countries:
Spain, Children & Family, Classics, Drama, Romance
BBFC:
Release Date:
23/01/2017
Run Time:
95 minutes
Languages:
Spanish
Subtitles:
English
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Haunted Memory: The Cinema of Victor Erice (Adrian Martin, Cristina Alvarez Lopez, 2016, 13 mins): a video essay celebrating the great Spanish director
  • Victor Erice interviewed by Geoff Andrew (2003, 83 mins, audio only)
  • Theatrical re-release trailer
BBFC:
Release Date:
23/01/2017
Run Time:
95 minutes
Languages:
Spanish
Subtitles:
English
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Haunted Memory: The Cinema of Victor Erice (Adrian Martin, Cristina Alvarez Lopez, 2016, 13 mins): a video essay celebrating the great Spanish director
  • Victor Erice interviewed by Geoff Andrew (2003, 83 mins, audio only)
  • Theatrical re-release trailer

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Reviews (3) of The South

The enigmatic south. - The South review by RhysH

Spoiler Alert
27/05/2017

A beautifully restrained, enigmatic film. There are no dramatic moments no intense emotions just a steady trickle of thought and reflection. Beautifully shot, light, shade, reserved colour. Some lovely moments between mother and daughter and father and daughter, in particular at the celebration of the daughter's first communion.

3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

Good start but becomes tedious - The South review by ML

Spoiler Alert
18/04/2017

We enjoyed probably the first half of this film but were disappointed as it became increasingly slow moving as it went on. It was almost two films in one package.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Very atmospheric but rather slow moving - The South review by CD

Spoiler Alert
09/02/2018

I agree with other reviewers that this is an enjoyable and beautifully shot film but for me it dragged a bit in the second half - it becomes rather claustrophobic around the limited character set but the relationships are subtly portrayed - well worth a look.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

The South (aka El Sur) review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso

The South is a triumphal cinematic experience based on a story by Spanish novelist and short story writer Adelaida Garcia Morales, whose inclination for magical realism has put her on the international spot. To this extent, the film portrays the relationship between a daughter and her father, a truly mysterious and strange man, who is obsessed with a certain actress from his youth. What’s interesting is that The South is set in the northern parts of Spain, not the south, which makes the whole ordeal seem even more bizarre than what it really is (not really, since the producers of the film didn’t fund the film as per the expectations of the director, and so the film ended up shorter than what was envisioned at first).

In it, Adelaida Garcia Morales (through director Víctor Erice) tells a very melancholic story about the innocence of childhood and the loss thereof when one grows up enough to realize that the world is not as they imagined it. And so, our protagonist Estrella is torn between the upcoming challenges in life, both on a micro and micro level as well. On one hand, she’s in a constant struggle between deconstructing her father’s deity-like figure and building him again into something more reasonable – a real human being. Estrella struggles with this notion on couple of occasions, which just proves her (again) innocence towards everything that’s not her, i.e. everything external. And so one day, her grand illusion is shattered to pieces after she finds out that her father is not what she was imagining for this whole time.

Another theme that The South explores is that of lost loves, and it does it with such diligence and charm so that at times one starts wondering: is it really that difficult to let go a person you once thought was everything to you? The South doesn’t cut any corners and does not offer any exact answers either; it’s up to the viewers to dissect and pick a side, or stay indifferent for that matter. All of these notions are conveyed perfectly by both actresses that portray Estrella (Sonsoles Aranguren as an 8-year-old and Icíar Bollaín as 15-year-old Estrella). Which inevitably brings me to the visuals of the film.

The South is built upon a hypnotic visual thread that protrudes all throughout and elevates the whole experience to new, variably unexplored heights. As such, the style and movement of the camera is stylistically impeccable and only adds to the mezmerising nature of the film.

All things considered, The South is an artistic masterpiece and a film made for both film lovers and nurturers of the written word; As such, it would be a real shame if, belonging in either of the two categories, you miss on this little gem.

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