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The Spirit of the Beehive (El Espíritu de la colmena)

The Spirit of the Beehive (El Espíritu de la colmena) (2006)



Average Rating: 8.9/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 6,227

My Rating

Movie Info

Eight-year-old Ana lives in a close-knit Castillian village with her daydreamer mother Teresa, older sister Isabel and father Fernando, who tends beehives for a living. After watching James Whale's 1931 version of Frankenstein with Boris Karloff, little Ana becomes convinced that the monster in living in one of the nearby, rundown houses. When an escaped convict seeks refuge in one house, Ana believes she has finally met the monster of her nightmares.


Art House & International, Drama

Sep 19, 2006

Janus Films

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Latest News on The Spirit of the Beehive (El Espíritu de la colmena)

September 9, 2006:
TORONTO: "Pan's Labyrinth" Is Brutal, Beautiful Fantasy
A magic realist fairy tale set in Fascist Spain, "Pan's Labyrinth" is endlessly...


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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (0) | DVD (8)

It's a film that transports us back not just to the sights and sounds of childhood but to a core of sweet innocence and sometimes ignorant bliss.

July 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a modest marvel of grace and framing that unfolds with the patience of a cloud and is driven more by wonder than pure emotion.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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Those who haven't seen it since the '70s may find themselves amazed all over again by its lyrical potency and grace; those who have never seen it may wonder how it can be that a film this great isn't shown somewhere all the time.

March 31, 2006 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
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Screening in a new print so pristine you forget that this film is 33 years old, Spirit of the Beehive sweeps you into its quiet world.

March 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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Takes place at the particular intersection of reality and fantasy defined by youthful moviegoing.

January 26, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ana Torrent gives perhaps the greatest child performance of all time.

January 26, 2006
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lyrical and magestic, Erice's film is one of the most compelling fables about haunted childhood.

January 18, 2013 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

A most exceptional vision of the inner life of a child just learning about the darker complexities of life.

October 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Considered by many as one of the key Spanish films of the Seventies.

May 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

...a graceful, lyrical masterpiece wound around one of the most natural and engrossing performances by a child actor we've ever seen.

September 17, 2006 Full Review Source:

A haunting, atmospheric film that focuses on a young girl's obsession with the Frankenstein monster.

August 30, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

filmmaking art of the highest caliber.

July 23, 2006 Full Review Source:

Erice meant his film as a sly social commentary, but his opinions are so well enveloped in the film's dreamy coming-of-age tapestry that moviegoers worldwide (especially younger ones) have embraced it.

June 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Ana's fearful, credulous eyes are as wide as the flat Castilian horizon, striated by clouds and railroad tracks, which reach beyond the known world.

March 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Every magic hour, light-drenched image in Victor Erice's Spirit of the Beehive is filled with mysterious dread.

January 23, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Expressively played by its two young leads, it's a work which memorably captures a child's perspective on the mysteries of everyday life.

September 17, 2003 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Spirit of the Beehive (El Espíritu de la colmena)

If only they had better monster makeup. I jest - wonderful film.
April 3, 2007

Super Reviewer

After seeing a touring print of FRANKENSTEIN in 1940s Spain, a young girl is convinced the monster is real and lives in an abandoned farmhouse on the edge of town. This movie is too slow for its own good---it takes an hour for the first major plot development, and for the young actress to discover a second expression---but the seriousness and artistry can't be overlooked.
July 22, 2013
Greg S

Super Reviewer

Symbolically critical of post-civil war Spain, The Spirit Of The Beehive is a Victor Erice work that features young Ana and her curiosity. Gorgeous cinematography. Graceful performances. Exceptional.
September 10, 2011
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Geist des Bienenstocks (DE)
  • The Spirit of the Beehive (UK)
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