Paco Periñán’s directorial full-length feature debut, “Contra el Viento” [Eng. Title: Against the Wind] should have kick-started a successful career – he was also nominated for a Goya the following year, but for reasons unknown, it was also the last film he’s directed – he is an assistant director (1st or 2nd) these days.
It is a strange film with several plot elements in it which go nowhere. It is also a rare film and I’ve never been able to get hold of it in its native Spanish language. The DVD from which these scenes were cut is from an Italian version, and as with all dubbed films, subtle nuances are lost in narration. The end product looks like a cheap 80’s thriller.
Juan leaves his parental home to live in an Andalusian village, fleeing an incestuous relationship with his sister Ana. We are given very little background regarding this, considering the fact that they don’t come from a broken home. But Ana comes looking for him after a year without contact, and decides to live in his one-room shed, much to Juan’s discomfort – he’d been trying to leave behind his past and had just started a relationship with local girl Rosario. We see the siblings still in love, but while Juan knows the relationship is wrong, Ana continues to harbour a distorted vision of familial love. She demands his attention even as he tries to avoid her, and when she’d just about given up, notices evidence that he still has feelings for her as before, and decides to stay in the village with an engineer, by lying to Juan that she’s leaving.
This is an unusual role for the beautiful Emma Suárez, who plays Ana. Technically, the film is so-so, the soundtrack isn’t all that appealing, and I wouldn’t comment on the direction because I’ve only seen the dubbed version. The film was shot in full frame, due to which some close-ups have an abstract quality about it. The lighting could have been better, but difficult to tell as this may also be due to average DVD mastering.
The Nudity: Emma Suárez and Rosario Flores
The film is here for its rarity – Emma Suárez, playing the incestuous Ana, appears nude in several scenes, as does Rosario Flores who plays Rosario – she hadn’t taken her kit off even for Almodóvar in Habla con Ella!