Adapted from a short story by Almudena Grandes, Juan Vincente C’rdoba’s excellent directorial debut is a graceful love story that shuttles back and forth between time periods and between pleasure and frustration. Luc’a (Silvia Munt), a dissatisfied middle-aged translator who has moved into a house that once belonged to her grandparents, recognises Juan (Gary Piquer) and discovers that he still lives across the street, as he did 25 years earlier. In 1974, during the tense, dying days of the Franco regime, Juan first met Lucia and fell in love with her from across the balconies. But Lucia chose status over her feelings for the working-class boy, and now she wonders if she can redeem this terrible mistake. The insightful script is excellent at building up the details of theses characters’ lives. The couple’s early middle-aged isolation, the way they cling to memories of a more emotionally involved time, is particularly well captured by Munt and Piquer. C’rdoba has dedicated the film to the late Krzysztof Kieslowski, and What You Never Knew is in some respects reminiscent of the great Polish director’s A Short Film About Love.
Dolby digital stereo.