PETRA (2018) by Jaime Rosales
“By Antonio Llorens”
“Do you know why I´m here?”
Jaime Rosales has a brilliant filmography. “Petra” is his latest film, present at the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes festival and at Perlas at the recent San Sebastian film festival. The director said that this time he was trying to win the public, an issue that the cinemas of Valencia, among others, unfortunately have eliminated. José Luis Cuerda, an illustrious one, said that the film audience – due to the very long absence of audiovisual teaching at school – only knew how to talk about the subject and the actors, leaving out the fundamental, the staging. “Petra” is a film that tells a TV Soap, of parents and children, of unclear secrets, of marriages between brothers – we remember here a TV-Movie of Ramón Costafreda, “Máis ca irmáns / Más que hermanos”, based on real characters, in a case of incest that received the support of a town hall, film made…
But Rosales proposes a model staging, starting with a disorder in the chapters in which the story is divided and continuing with an accomplishment sufficiently far from what we are told. This produces a clear Brechtian distancing, so that the viewer can reconstruct the threads of the plot but being aware that such a plot is not the most important thing. The really important thing is the money, the interpretations of a curious cast, headed by Barbara Lennie and Álex Brendemühl, with Marisa Paredes, Petra Martínez and Oriol Pla, not forgetting the non-professional Joan Botey, giving life to a multimillionaire and deceitful artist.
For all this, “Petra” is an exciting film, able to catch the audience, a film without compromise, terrible and lucid. “Petra”, whose coincidences with the last of Julio Médem; “The tree of blood”, are notable (another example of distanced story and true to the style of its director, well beyond its genealogical plots) is a film that must be seen, which must be among all kinds of audiences, which deserves considerations about art and life, about the economy of each other, about legacies of fathers or mothers to children, about the origin of each one of us, but those conclusions are given by the staging, by the careful placement of the camera, due to a distance that hinders the identification or the absurd rescue of the cinema of consumption, of the cinema of action, to let us see a reality that is not far from each of us. A great film, no doubt.
Traducido por: Eduardo Llorente.
Our rating: (4/5)