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Nicolas Pesce’s strikingly atmospheric The Eyes of My Mother successfully evokes in the viewer a feeling of dread expectation, aided by a narrative that deftly mixes implications and ambiguities, creating a gothic horror story that marks one of the year’s most notable debuts.
As a girl, Francisca is witness to her mother’s brutal murder at the hands of a passing stranger. Catching the man in the act, her father imprisons him in their barn. Wishing to keep him as her friend, the lonely little girl blinds him and severs his vocal cords.
As an adult, after the death of her father, the bereft Francisca (the unsettling Kika Magalhaes) continues to seek human connection, although the traumas and isolation of her life to date have left her profoundly disturbed and unpredictable. Beautifully shot in crisp chiaroscuro, this is an intriguing and intimate film.
(Notes by Kevin Coyne)
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