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Parallel Mothers


Almodóvar’s latest film concerns two women – Janis, who is in her 40’s, and Teresa, who is a teenager – who strike up a bond while sharing a hospital room as both are preparing to give birth. That connection and how it happens is one storyline. In another storyline, Janis, a photographer, has an affair with Arturo, an archeologist who specializes in digs related to Spain’s civil war. Janis asks him to help her to organize a dig of a plot of land where many of her male relatives were murdered and buried. These two stories are woven together in a way that illuminates the power of all the women involved as strong survivors of terrible atrocities committed by men. This in many ways is characteristic of Almodóvar: his use of color in his scenes is always magnificent, and he manages to find deep connections among his characters in ways that are not always readily obvious. It gets rather cliché to keep saying that “this is one of his best”, as all of his movies are “best”, and this one is no exception. The final scene of the movie is stunning and neatly and powerfully ties the movie’s storylines together. Excellent film! (2021; 4.5 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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