Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Love to Keep (Electroshock)

Based on a true story, A Love to Keep begins in fascist Spain in the early 1970's. The two main characters are school teachers Elvira and Pilar, two women who live a quiet but happy life together until Pilar's parents intervene and have her shipped off to a psychiatric hospital for "treatment," including electroshock aversion therapy. She remains confined for over 4 years, finally released after Franco's death, as the fascists give way to a more open society and political system. However, she is a broken woman, beset by nightmares and sudden mood swings — side effects of the electroshock therapy — and their hopes for a happy life after their long-awaited reunion slowly unravel. It's a moving story, although heavily downbeat and at times difficult to watch. As a made-for-TV movie, the production values are a little rough around the edges, but the performances make up for those minor issues. Highly recommended

A Love to Keep (Electroshock), dir. Juan Carlos Claver, 2006 Spain 98 min., in Spanish with English subtitles

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