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Cría Cuervos (Cria!) (Raise Ravens)

Cría Cuervos (Cria!) (Raise Ravens) (1976)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0

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Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 3,349

My Rating

Movie Info

Carlos Saura wrote and directed this powerful psychological drama in which family crises which reflect the embattled soul of a nation are seen through the eyes of an unusually perceptive child. Ana (Ana Torrent) is an eight-year-old girl growing up in a troubled household -- her father Anselmo (Hector Alterio) is a general in the Spanish military during the waning days of Franco's repressive regime, and her mother (Geraldine Chaplin) is dead, Ana having witnessed her agonizing final moments.

Aug 21, 2007

Criterion Collection

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (0) | DVD (8)

The allusions are as gentle as they are smart.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Her [Torrent] expression in Cría cuervos is blank and beautiful, her gaze unfaltering. It's no exaggeration to say that there would be no movie without her: so much of the characterisation is embedded in her stillness.

May 31, 2013 Full Review Source: New Statesman
New Statesman

Blurring fact and fantasy in a haunting evocation of the repression that marked the Franco era.

June 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

The title refers to the old saying: "Raise ravens and they'll peck your eyes out."

June 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

It's unsettling, moving and funny in turn, and a clear criticism of a regime that stifled the Spanish for decades.

June 10, 2011 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

The film fluidly moves between reality and fantasy, past and present, never delineating them clearly, suggesting they all have the same texture in Ana's mind and are part of the same continuum.

June 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Electric Sheep
Electric Sheep

The film is a masterpiece of form and technique, and Chaplin and Torrent are both outstanding.

June 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

It unfolds like a kind of morbid reverie, reverberating with strange frissons about what one generation passes to the next, and how even rebellion is a kind of heirloom.

June 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

As the child who believes she has power over death after witnessing the demise of her father, Ana Torrent superbly conveys that mix of terror and innocence that is unique to childhood.

June 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

A richly shot, impressively acted film containing a powerful, bleak vision of both childhood and a repressive adult world.

June 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Set in 1974, the last year of Spanish dictator Franco's regime, Carlos Saura's melodrama draws intriguing analogies between a girl haunted by hallucinations and the broader political context.

January 27, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Rejection of "childhood innocence"

November 17, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

An hypnotic arthouse psychological drama that complexly mixes reality and fantasy.

January 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A seamless story about memory and fantasy blurring together, Cría cuervos is unquestionably Carlos Saura's greatest film.

November 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

The film's vaguely uncanny and disquieting tone is due to several factors, including its emphasis on death, loss, and decay...In many ways, the film is a lament and warning for Spain's future.

April 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Filmjourney

Audience Reviews for Cría Cuervos (Cria!) (Raise Ravens)

"Cría cuervos y te sacarán los ojos." This stunningly directed Spanish classic is a perverse, dark and funny portrayal of childhood.
July 8, 2011
Matheus Carvalho

Super Reviewer

a dark film about childhood starring the wonderful ana torrent as a willful and imaginative girl haunted by the deaths of her parents. en espanol
March 1, 2008
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Like the earlier "The Spirit of the Beehive" (also starring Ana Torrent), "Cria Cuervos" is a story told from a child's perspective. It's as if the film's pace and structure are wholly steered by Torrent's own natural rhythm. She's an unusually somber little girl whose heartbreaking brown eyes are soaked with melancholy, and she spends much of the film just silently watching and thinking.

Torrent's character (also named Ana) is the middle sister of three. Her mother (Geraldine Chaplin, superb in a small role) and father both died in the recent past. He was a cold military officer and a philanderer, and the marriage was not happy. Ana and her sisters are being raised by their well-meaning but irritable aunt Paulina, while a matronly housekeeper is another guiding hand. Ana's grandmother, mute and paralyzed from a stroke, also lives in the house. Nothing pleases her except blankly gazing at old family photos. She seems to connect more with Ana than her sisters, and their scenes together provide some of the more intriguing moments.

Ana's departed mother regularly appears to her -- presumably, this is a fantasy but it's left somewhat ambiguous. Since the film also includes plenty of flashbacks, the entrances of the mother can be confusing. Adding to the near-surreal disorientation, Chaplin also portrays Ana as an adult and inserts some external commentary.

As the story continues, the sadness deepens into a surprisingly dark tone. Ana quietly shows some murderous tendencies, and it's insinuated that she may have poisoned her father and could even kill again. Thankfully, the film retreats from becoming just another claustrophobic tale of gothic horror.

Some critics interpret "Cria Cuervos" as an allegory about clashing forces of Spanish politics (it was shot during dictator Francisco Franco's final months). Resonances emerge in the grand but stifling home and the ceremony surrounding the father's death, but I suggest restraint in pursuing this metaphor too far. However, if this line of analysis could explain the repeated shots of refrigerated chicken feet, carry on!
November 12, 2011
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Cria! (Cria cuervos) (DE)
  • Cría Cuervos (Raise Ravens) (UK)
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