A pregnant 15-year-old and the couple giving her shelter form a tense agreement, in the latest from Manuel Martín Cuenca (The Motive).
Contemporary World Cinema
Manuel Martín Cuenca
Irene (Irene Virgüez) is 15 years old and living in a centre for juvenile offenders. She is determined to turn her life around with the help of Javier (Javier Gutiérrez), an educator at the centre. He offers to let her live with him and his wife Adela (Patricia López Arnaiz) in their house in a remote spot in the mountains so she can hide and comfortably carry out her pregnancy. The only condition is that she must give them the baby she is carrying. This fragile pact will be put in jeopardy once Irene starts feeling the life growing inside her.
With The Daughter, director Manuel Martín Cuenca solidifies his status as one of the finest of his generation at crafting suspense pieces with Hitchcockian precision, aided here by beautiful and terrifying landscapes. He explores the grey areas of ethics and uncalculated motivations and consequences, then goes a few steps past that into sheer dark abuse of a seemingly defenseless young woman. The piece builds into its tremendous finale, an utterly satisfying cinematic experience that ties up its conflicting themes and proves that sometimes not even nature can stop certain forces of nature.
Content advisory: violence, disturbing scenes