It’s summer and Frida (Artigas), a 6 year old orphan is bereft. Her uncle’s family take her from Barcelona to give her a fresh start in the countryside of Catalonia. Frida finds her new world hard to adjust to: unfamiliar people and places. Will she allow herself to take the risk of reconnecting as the summer unfolds? It’s not so much the story, but the subtle performances and gentle deepening of emotion that makes this film lyrical and affecting. A remarkably beautiful film that will stay with you.
Simon drew directly on her own childhood experiences in writing the screenplay, and even includes sentences taken from her mother’s letters. She was also influenced by a number of films featuring children including landmark Spanish classic The Spirit of the Beehive (previously shown by WFC as a Members’ Choice screening), set during the Franco era and told from the perspective of a young girl. Simon has also observed that her film has a similar essence to Sean Baker’s The Florida Project (screened by WFC last year), also fuelled by powerful performances from two young girls.
‘A deeply personal child’s-eye view of loss, Summer 1993 is an utterly beguiling debut feature from Spanish writer-director Carla Simón. And the fact that this collection of delicately observed fragments from a summer of upheaval is based on her own life gives an added potency to this finely crafted film.’ Wendy Ide, The Guardian