Las hijas de abril was a really strikingly good movie, one of these I admire for: it shocks with an interesting story.
The movie tells a story of Abril (Emma Suárez) and her two daughters: Valeria (Ana Valeria Becerril) and Clara (Joanna Larequi). Their relation isn’t perfect, almost doesn’t exist: the mother has her own life and lives in another city. 17- year old Valeria and her half-sister Clara live together in Puerto Vallarta. As Valeria gets pregnant, Clara decides to inform their mother about it. Abril makes her on the way to Puerto Vallarta, not knowing yet how much this decision will affect the lives of all of them.
It’s one of these movies where if you know the whole plot, you won’t get surprised or shocked and all the “charm” of the movie (if you can call it like that) will disappear. It’s a courageous picture of a woman, who wasn’t ready to be a mother and still doesn’t really know how to fulfill this role or what does it mean. She tries to help but instead of making life easier for Valeria, her boyfriend and their baby, she does the things which lead to an even bigger tragedy. All of these is dictated by the feeling of being guilty: of not being good enough for her daughters. Instead of helping, she manipulates and instead of sharing love, she becomes even bigger egoist.
While last year Guillermo del Toro’s Shape of Water was conquering every film festival, Hijas de Abril wasn’t worse. It won the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival. For a director, Michel Franco, it was already a second award won in Cannes. In 2012 he recived also the best movie award in the same section for Después de Lucía. Ana Valeria Becerrill, who played Valeria, won a well-deserved Mexican Ariel for the best female debut.
This great story was an opening movie of the Mexico Scope: a film festival in Berlin dedicated to promote Mexican movies. It was its second edition and I’m really excited to know that there are people who want to promote this cinema in Germany. I already saved the date for the next year’s edition!