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7 Virgins

Director: Alberto Rodriguez

SPAIN • 2005 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 86 MIN.


A 48-hour leave from reform school brings life lessons for the teenage protagonist of 7 Virgins, a street-kids piece that combines energy and delicacy to striking and subtle effect. Sixteenyear-old Tano (Juan Jose Ballesta) is picked up from a Seville reform school by his brother Santacana (Vicente Romero), who warns Tano to avoid trouble. But once Tano gets back in touch with his irrepressible buddy Richi (Jesus Carroza), within minutes they are on the run in a shopping mall after stealing a wallet. None of the characters is very likable, as scriptwriters Rafael Cobos Lopez and Alberto Rodriguez (who also directed) play realism over pity. The dialogue is often the insubstantial rat-a-tat vernacular of street kids wanting to be men, but reflective moments shatter the veneer of teen machismo to expose the fragility beneath. The title refers to an Andalucian superstition involving candles, a mirror and clairvoyance, a motif that appears throughout this visually striking film.

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