Hermana | Short Film of the Day

Short Film of the Day February 19, 2021


By Mikaela Bruce with 6.9

drama · Short Films · spanish

The beautifully captured all-female space of Hermana (Sister) brings to life an otherworldly charm, sensual and visceral, elegant and sophisticated, all at the same time. The shadows and dim-light of the opening visuals, marked by flower wreaths and crowns, made lovingly by a daughter for her mother and sister, reenforce the existence of our characters in an ethereal world, a parallel realm of sorts where only the three reign true and free. However, amidst the many folds of this meticulously constructed space rests a disconcerting unease which is impossible to shake off.

The viewer is fully aware that despite the calm constituted by the several objects on screen, as well as by the measured and quiet manner of the little family itself, the space is far from being an idyllic haven. The first certainty is accentuated in the form of a little inversion of a smile, a slight droop of the shoulders in the opening sequence itself. After spending hours to prepare a birthday dinner for her mother, when our protagonist still finds her plans far from attaining perfection, the disappointment is loud and clear. When despair of foiled attempts meets envy, it is the latter that eventually comes to color and overwhelm the relationship of the two sisters. While one is loving, open, unsuspecting, unaware of any sentiment of this kind wriggling its way into their equation, the other is angry, conflicted and determined to act on the very emotion.

Hermana does a skilled job of delineating all of the several intricacies of a sibling-bond where one dark hue threatens to overpower the love it could have stood for. In the process, the film, a story of two sisters, tucked away in a quiet corner of the Spanish countryside, becomes a compelling portrayal of the many dynamics of the familial space - from envy-tinged equations of affection and compassion to the close bond of intimacy and violence. The emotions are, thus, rendered unmistakably palpable for the viewer, drawing them deeper and deeper into the narrative up to a point of no return.
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