a demonic opera magna by Carlos Vermut

Bárbara has been sacrificed to (her?) demons

This absolutely riveting film from Spain was screened in the “San Sebastian Window” of Zurich Film Festival and it just won a best film and a runner up director’s award for Carlos Vermut at said San Sebastian Festival. Damián, the teacher, says at the beginning of MAGICAL GIRL: “The only absolute truth is that 2 plus 2 equals 4”. Then we see him humiliated by his pupil Bárbara. It surely is mathematically clear, but also deeply disturbing, that every action in this Triptych of mystery triggers a reaction, evil leads to more evil, and all adds up terribly at the end.

Luis and his terminally ill (and manipulative) daughter Alicia
Luis and his terminally ill (and manipulative) daughter Alicia

MUNDO (world), DEMONIO (demon) and CARNE (flesh) are the three parts of this opera magna, and at the heart of it all is a 12 year old girl, who wants to live to be 13 – we know, because we see her dance to a Japanese song before a mirror and we see her crumble and fall. the terminally ill girl guilts her father into buying the original, one-of-a-kind dress of her favourite anime figure, the “Magical Girl”. Her father Luis desperately tries to fulfill her wish and in Bárbara, now grown up, he finds a demonic helper. Luis and Bárbara go deeper and deeper, until Damián, the old teacher – a very demonic figure himself – descends like an avenging angel. Manolo Caracol sings “La niña de fuego” and we get the magic formula from Damián: “First there is something – then there is nothing.”

About Elisabeth Schabus 477 Articles
I see, I like, I write ... mostly about cinema and actors, but also about politics or economy. In English, auf Deutsch, på svenska. This ORF trained news journalist (TV, radio), who has also worked in corporate publishing for international brands and written/edited tons of magazines, has become a blogger out of passion.

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