Film & TV

Spanish Film Festival: A Ravaging Wind

Teenager Leni and her preacher father travel around the Argentinian countryside spreading their faith. When their car breaks down and they must spend a day with an atheistic mechanic, beliefs and relationships will be tested.

Intense, and passionate, yet a satisfying slow-burn.
4.5

Acclaimed director Paula Hernández delivers a brooding feature in A Ravaging Wind.

Set in the 80s, it tells the story of Leni, a 19 year old girl who travels around the countryside of Argentina with her preacher-healer father, the Reverend Pearson. When their car breaks down they must get towed to the local mechanic and wrecker, Gringo, unexpectedly spending the rest of the day and the night, with him and his son nicknamed Tapioca.

Gringo is generous but curmudgeonly. Tapioca, who is around the same age as Leni, has a facial disfigurement from birth, suffers extreme shyness and low self-esteem. Pearson seems, despite his age, imbued with endless energy, and a passion for his faith.

Screenplay by Hernández and Leonel D’Agostino is rich with philosophical and theological discussions, issues of fathers raising children, the hardness of survival, especially in the poorer parts of the Argentine, and life in general. In narrative terms, not much happens, and yet there is no sense of a slow-burn just for the sake of it. Every scene has its place. Every line is carefully crafted.

Outstanding as Gringo is prolific Spanish actor Sergi López. Chilean actor Alfredo Castro is intense and remarkably sympathetic as Pearson. Joining these veterans are Almudena González as Leni and Joaquín Acebo as Tapioca, who are both sensational. This small ensemble lifts this feature into something more than the sum of its parts.

Another winner from this year’s crop of Spanish-language films.

A Ravaging Wind screens as part of the HSBC Spanish Film Festival at Palace Nova Cinema from June 12th to July 10th.

Click here for further details.

Click here for screening times and to book tickets.

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