SOLAS | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

This 1998 Spanish film from director/screenwriter Benito Zambrano. Solas ("alone") invites us into the dreary lonely lives of Maria (Ana Fernandez), her old-fashioned mother, Rosa (Maria Galiana), and Maria's widowed neighbor, Vecino (Carlos Alvarez-Novoa). The bitter, brittle Maria has long left her rural village behind for the big city, and now grudgingly she hosts her estranged mother, in town to tend to Maria's abusive father's hospitalization. In Zambrano's measured character study, mother, daughter and neighbor slowly circle each other, executing small acts of kindness and occasionally dropping their guards (though often out of plain weariness) just enough to allow renewed pleasures and mutual respect. Zambrano's claustrophobic settings and drab color palette reinforce the alone-in-a-crowd nature of the run-down modern city in this bittersweet but pleasing family drama. In Spanish with subtitles. Three cameras

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