Letting in some fresh air, “Abrir puertas y ventanas” [2011 Argentina]

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Milagros Mumenthaler’s début feature, “Abrir puertas y ventanas” [Eng. Title: Back to Stay] is a character study of three siblings coming to terms with familial loss, and trying to fill the vacuum left behind.

Marina (María Canale), Sofia (Martina Juncadella), and Violeta (Ailín Salas) – sisters, were brought up by grandmother and university lecturer Alicia after their parents’ ‘disappearance’. They’re young adults now but still at college, and after Alicia’s unexpected death a few months ago, a collective inertia had set in the household that renders them rudderless and struggling to make ends meet, with each of the sisters trying to find their role within the family. It is summer, and along with the heat will surface simmering tensions and little rivalries, but circumstances force them to grow up rather quickly and start taking responsibility.

Naturally it is Marina, the eldest of the three, who assumes the responsibility of paying the bills and fixing things around the house, but is often challenged by Sofia, the middle sister, who goes as far as to even question Marina’s parentage. When the youngest, Violeta, leaves home without telling anyone, Sofia and Marina’s rivalry reaches a tipping point, which will boil over into open confrontation. And someone needs to take the initiative in stopping the confrontation from spiralling out of control…

This is a non-fussy film, beautifully performed and directed, thanks to a very well written screenplay – especially clever is the way in which information is seamlessly trickled to the viewer at the opportune moment. One hopes to see more from this young director in coming years, and the little gem is Highly Recommended Viewing..!

Amazon DVD Link [PAL]


The Nudity: María Canale and Martina Juncadella
The film features brief nudity from Martina Juncadella who plays Sofia, and a fairly intense sex scene between eldest sister Marina and neighbour Francisco, played by María Canale and Julián Tello respectively.

María Canale and Martina Juncadella nude in Abrir puertas y ventanas

Sibling rivalry and sexual tensions, adequately portrayed by María Canale and Martina Juncadella in “Abrir puertas y ventanas” aka “Back to Stay”.



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