spirit, shadow

"Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you. " 

-Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind)

 

i recently read "the shadow of the wind" which is a beautiful novel originally written in spanish and takes place in 1950's barcelona. the story is set against the backdrop of fading youth in franco's spain. it is about falling in and out of both books and love, and the strange relationship between the two.

shortly after reading "the shadow of the wind" i came across a movie called "the spirit of the beehive," which similarly happens to be set in the period following the spanish civil war but ten years earlier, in 1940. the film revolves around the coming of age of young ana who becomes enamored with the figure of frankenstein after the film travels to her small town. the film is a very sweet, melancholy look at the way in which a young girl tries to understand the world around her. it is also beautifully realized and has a sort of dreamy, moody quality.

what i particularly enjoyed about both "the shadow of the wind" and "the spirit of the beehive" is that they are small intimate portraits of children struggling to make sense of growing up. and they are set in a  period where a large epic struggle happens to be playing out in the background. while the war does not necessarily affect their everyday lives, it casts a long shadow that nonetheless shapes them in ways they do not quite understand. both stories come across as incredibly sensitive and capture the simultaneous feelings of love and loss.

 

 

photos by me, film stills from the spirit of the beehive rent it here in nz