This Week’s Recommendation: Marshland

14 May 2021

This Week’s Recommendation: Marshland

Title: Marshland

Spain, 2014

105 mins, language: Spanish

Directed by Alberto Rodríguez

Marshland was the 782nd film screened by RFS, on 27th March 2018. It was one of the three fourth equal ranked film of Season 55 (equal with The Other Side of Hope and Le Havre), with an audience rating of 90%.

This Spanish edge-of-your-seat crime thriller won ten Goya Awards (the Spanish Oscars), including best film, best director and best actor.

In a post-Franco Spain, two detectives are sent to a remote town on the Guadalquivir Marshes in Spain's 'Deep South' to investigate the disappearance of two teenage sisters. On arrival, the local police inform them that the girls were known for their promiscuity. Before long the girls are found dumped in the local marsh, having been raped and tortured to death. Despite a lack of clues, suspicion falls on one of the sister's former boyfriends and the detectives learn of a similar case that occurred sometime before.

As the two detectives pursue their investigation, the dark side of the town starts to reveal itself and they manage to piece together the likely background to the killings. However, at this point, past and present political factors start to impede progress and the detectives’ own histories start to play a part in the investigation. Despite the ensuing tension, gradually the search for a solution to the case reaches a climactic resolution in the swamps surrounding the town.

From the first image, the landscape becomes a key character in helping to reinforce the feeling of isolation and dislocation felt by the detectives who have to work so far from their own 'patch'. The labyrinth of waterways and featureless marshes mirror their hostile reception in the small town and the tangled web of alliances and embedded corruption they will need to uncover to complete their job. Franco is gone but not forgotten.

Full film notes available in the Twickenham & Richmond Tribune -

The film can be streamed from Amazon Prime and discs are available from Amazon and other retailers.

Presented by Richmond Film Society

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