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Institute of Contemporary Arts
Libertad, dir. Clara Roquet, Spain/Belgium 2021, 104 min., Spanish with English subtitles

15-year-old Nora (Maria Morera) is staying with her mother Teresa, younger sister and extended family at her grandmother Angela’s home. Here Rosana serves as housekeeper and carer for Angela who has Alzheimers. Rosana’s feisty teenage daughter Libertad (Nicolle Garcia) has arrived from Colombia but doesn’t like being at home with her mother. Nora is fascinated by confident, outspoken Libertad and their burgeoning friendship allows Nora to see the privileged world she has grown up in differently. Roquet captures the intersecting and unequal relationships, refracted through the inequalities of class and race, through a cinematic language of showing rather than telling. 

The film is shot through Nora’s eyes – the summer home as a metaphor for her grandmother – grand, rambling, slightly ramshackle, pertaining to an earlier era, much like the eerie home in Lucrecia Martel’s La ciénaga / The Swamp (2001). The two teenage actresses (Maria Morera as Nora and Nicolle García as Libertad) are terrific, at one moment thick as thieves, at another Libertad painfully aware of the class differences that separate them. Roquet’s directorial debut is a hugely impressive portrait of teenage hood made with sensitivity and a nuanced attention to the dynamics of a family – and by extension a society – in transition.
06:15 pm
Sat, 14 May 2022
Cinema 1
£13 Full, £11 Concessions, £5.50 Green/Blue Members

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