The Sky Turns (El Cielo Gira)

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Director: MERCEDES ALVAREZ

This fine Spanish documentary is a consummately achieved, lyrical meditation on how to capture things before they’re gone forever. Set in a remote village in northwest Spain, where director Mercedes Alvarez was the last person to be born 30 years ago and whose last inhabitants will shortly die, fi lm is a rare audience pleasure.

It focuses on a year in the life of the village (pop. 14, and declining) in six leisurely sections, recording different seasons and aspects: tourists coming to hunt Roman ruins, converting wind energy via turbines, often surreal conversations of aging locals, remarkable people who seemed resigned to their extinction. A couple of old men consider their mortality as they dig their own graves in the cemetery: “Up to the last minute,” one of them refl ects, “you think you’re going to live forever.”

Director Alvarez took coveted “Tiger Award” at 2006 Rotterdam fest for film, inspired by the work of countryman Victor Erice (Spirit of the Beehive).

(In Spanish with English subtitles)

SPAIN • 2006 • 115 MINUTES • DIRECTOR: MERCEDES ALVAREZ

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