Theatrical Release Date: 19 Sep 2003
Home Ent. Release Date: 26 Oct 2003
Running Time: 98mins
Spirit of the Beehive is a visually poetic, haunting and allegorical film of innocence and isolation. Filmed in 1973 under the Franco regime, it’s an audacious critique of the legacy of the Spanish Civil war whilst also featuring a truly spellbinding performance from Ana Torent, who plays the eight-year-old central character. Set in the Castillian countryside around 1940, the film tells the story of Ana and Isabel, who are left to occupy themselves whilst their parents live their distracted lives. They attend a screening of James Whale’s Frankenstein at a makeshift movie theatre in town. Ana, unsettled by the film and the monster, relentlessly asks Isabel to rationalise their actions. Isabel pacifies Ana by explaining that the monster is actually a spirit who cannot die, and takes the gullible Ana to an abandoned barn where she claims to see the spirit in the well. Intrigued by the prospect of finding the elusive spirit, Ana becomes obsessed with the idea of befriending the imaginary monster.