Film & TV

Spanish Film Festival: Un Amor

In escaping the pressures of the city and her emotionally draining job, Nat finds herself in a Spanish country town that doesn’t bring her the serenity she was expecting.

Dark, disturbing, and quirkily erotic.

Prolific filmmaker Isabel Coixet is featured in this year’s Spanish Film Festival. Her latest feature, Un Amor is based on the best-selling and critically acclaimed novel by Sara Mesa.

Natalia is a thirty-year old linguist, specialising in certain African languages. She works as a simultaneous interpreter for refugees applying for asylum in Spain. It is tiring, emotionally draining work, from which she herself feels she needs refuge. Renting a dilapidated house in a small town in the countryside, Nat aspires to find some peace, and a break from the horrors she is forced to hear every day. The serenity she seeks eludes her. Instead she finds dripping roofs, nosey, sleazy, neighbours, a stray, scarred old dog, and woman with dementia who she offers to help care for. When one of her neighbours Andreas, a large, imposing, German-Armenian, makes her an unusual offer, she eventually agrees, but soon finds herself caught up in an obsessive relationship, where she ceases to fully recognise herself.

Laia Costa is magnificent as Nat, giving us a character we find equally sympathetic, and annoying. As Andreas, Hovik Keuchkerian puts in a career-defining performance. The two of them deliver a dark, disturbed, yet oddly erotic, on-screen chemistry. No intimacy coordinator is listed in the credits, so one assumes Coixet choreographed the sex scenes herself. Suffice to say, you will never look at an omelet the same way…

Supporting cast includes Hugo Silva as neighbour Piter, and Luis Bermejo as Nat’s horrible landlord.

Un Amor explores themes of alienation, obsession, empathy, selfishness, and community. whilst also delivering a genuinely erotic quasi-love story.

Coixet has once again shown that she is one of our best contemporary film-makers.

Un Amor is screening as part of the HSBC Spanish Film Festival from June 12th-July 10th at Palace Nova Cinema.

Click here for further information.

Click here for screening times, and to book tickets.

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