in about 100 words or less
Spain 97m, Colour
Director: Víctor Erice; Cast: Fernando Fernán Gómez, Teresa Gimpera, Ana Torrent, Isabel Tellería
Too young to separate fact from fiction, six-year-old Ana is fascinated by Frankenstein’s monster when she sees James Whale’s 1931 horror movie. Perplexed as to why the monster would kill the little girl, Ana retreats into her imagination to make sense of what she saw. As a film within a film, the Frankenstein story is a metaphor for an underlying commentary on the Spanish Civil War and the suffering of the country under Franco’s dictatorship. A beautiful looking production with a melancholic mood, it is no surprise that this film was influential to director Guillermo del Toro, who said in a 2006 interview that “Spirit of the Beehive is one of those seminal movies that seeped into my very soul” (Klaus Ming May 2016).