Raise Ravens (Cria Cuervos)

1976

Raise Ravens (Cria Cuervos)

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 16

94%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,483
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Movie Info

A haunting study of a girl's traumatic childhood.

Cast

News & Interviews for Raise Ravens (Cria Cuervos)

Critic Reviews for Raise Ravens (Cria Cuervos)

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (16)

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

    Jun 12, 2011 | Full Review…

    Philip French

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

    Jun 10, 2011 | Rating: 4/5
  • The film is a masterpiece of form and technique, and Chaplin and Torrent are both outstanding.

    Jun 9, 2011 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • The allusions are as gentle as they are smart.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Geraldine Chaplin gives an excellent performance in the dual role of the adult Ana and Ana's mother, sensitively portraying the neurotic pain of one and the other's maternal tenderness.

    Oct 22, 2019 | Full Review…
  • 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…

Audience Reviews for Raise Ravens (Cria Cuervos)

  • Apr 23, 2016
    A devastating drama of profound political symbolism in which even the most deceptively trivial scenes have a meaning, and it is wonderful to see how it is shown from the point of view of Ana's seemingly confused memories as they jump between different moments of her bleak childhood.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2011
    <i>El Espíritu de la Colmena</i> (1973) has a lost cousin called <i>Cría Cuervos</i>, and just like a child loses naive innocence and a fantasy perspective of the world as it grows up, Death is more menacing in an omniscient role that lurks around the darkest corners of the mind. <i>Viskningar och Rop</i> (1972) meets Víctor Erice, you could say. Terrific depiction of the fascination with death and about metaphysical questionings. Ana Torrent will always be my Spanish little princess. 98/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 08, 2011
    "Cría cuervos y te sacarán los ojos." This stunningly directed Spanish classic is a perverse, dark and funny portrayal of childhood.
    Matheus C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 05, 2011
    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!
    Eric B Super Reviewer

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