53 Winter Days

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As a dog is abandoned one snowy winter night near a local bus stop, three characters awaiting the bus do their best to ignore the situation. Thus begins Judith Colell's film 53 dias de Invierno (53 Winter Days). The film subsequently delves into the life of each passenger, and becomes a trio of stories on conflict - the first psychological, the second emotional, and the third social. Because Colell recounts the tales one-after-another but never intersects or overlaps the narratives per se , her film becomes a foray into the hidden stories that lurk behind the eyes of three strangers, whom we might come across on any random street corner - and who only happen, cosmically, to be sharing the same bus stop at the same moment but may never know one another. In the psychological segment, we meet Mila (Mercedes Sampietro), a local teacher reeling from an assault at the hands of a student, who has taken a yearlong sabbatical to recover; the arc of her story involves her gradual attainment of self-assertion and courage. Segment number two - the segment on emotional conflict - follows Valeria (Aina Clotet), a cellist immersed in an adulterous relationship with her married professor, Hugo (Joaquim de Almeida). The instructor decides to break off the relationship but sends his wife to do the dirty work; meanwhile, Valeria's mother (Silvia Munt) sits at home and struggles to contend with her husband's abandonment of her. And in the third segment (which pertains to social conflict), married security guard Celso (Brendemuhl), struggles to make ends meet - a goal that looms impossible as he discovers his wife, Angela's, (Maria Pau Pigem) expectancy of twins. He foolhardily tries to pocket a necklace from the department store where he works, as a gift for his wife, but is promptly discovered, fired, and thrown out onto the streets - where the terror of confessing his misdeeds to Angela keeps him from heading home. Gemma Ventura penned the script.


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