El Sur (The South) (1988)



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Movie Info

El Sur (The South) is the story of Estrella (Iciar Bollain), a little girl from Southern Spain who has been uprooted to the North. Estrella maintains a sentimentalized attachment to the region of her birth, an attachment manifested in her love for her father (Omero Antonutti). The girl's rose-colored memories are shattered when she learns that her beloved dad once carried on affair with a Southern woman-and that the flames of passion still smolder within him. This Spanish/Argentinian coproduction was filmed on location in Madrid, Navarre, Vittoria, and Zamora. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Critic Reviews for El Sur (The South)

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

Another hour was planned before funding was cut, yet the ellipses only add to its hushed, haunting mystery: even in its "unfinished" state, the final movement is little short of heartbreaking.

Sep 15, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Víctor Erice's El Sur, shimmers and quivers like the cinematic jewel it is, or like the brilliantly flashing silver star on the heroine's ring finger.

Jun 19, 2018 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…

Artfully made, tender and touching.

Dec 28, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It's a haunting, delicate portrait of childhood, with a father who oozes mystery.

Sep 16, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…


Sep 16, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Exquisitely lucid and tender about childhood's shifting emotional spaces

Nov 26, 2010 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for El Sur (The South)


for the time being i will continue to write my thoughts on films here but i'm disturbed by the imminent changes/corporate bullshit so we'll see how long this lasts. victor erice made one of the finest films of the 70s, the acclaimed 'spirit of the beehive,' then took a break of nearly 10 years, only to return with another haunting masterpiece in 'el sur.' once again the story of a young girl's relationship with her emotionally distant and mysterious father unfolds magically. beautiful chiaroscuro lighting effects and playful references abound (note the many stars in the film echoing our protagonist's name, estrella). and once again erice uses the device of a film within a film in passing (in this case htichcock's 'shadow of a doubt'). originally meant to run 3 hours, the film was only half completed when funding dried up but it doesn't suffer for that: it's wonderful and more than deserves a remaster and proper dvd release

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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