Spanish subscription cinema and literature

4. Volver


Reasons to study this film

Typically this film is about women and their situation and has the director's usual glossy look and feel.   It covers themes around the family, the role of women and much more.   Who wouldn't study an Almodóvar if there's one on the syllabus?

The interest of the film

Based in the La Mancha area in which Almodóvar was brought up, Volver has a stellar cast of female actress who play out a film where once again the female condition and  identity are key themes.   We see the women of the town spring-cleaning the graves of their kinsfolk as the film opens and then are drawn into a world where women rule.  Raimunda and Soledad, two sisters each have a drama unfold around them;  Paula, Raimunda's daughter kills her father, or step father, when he attempts to rape her and the women's mother, who is supposedly dead hitches a lift to Madrid in her daughter's boot. These parallel events set in a motion a series of events which involve scenes of realism, melodrama and magical realism in a film that always fascinates.   There is much to discuss in this fast paced, very human film which was very well received when it came out.

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