Cine Las Americas 2012 Review: CAMERA OBSCURA

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

 

This engaging film from Spain tells the story of young Ane (Jacqueline Duarte), a pubescent pre-teen who has had to adjust to her recent blindness caused by an accident.  While vacationing with her parents, she develops a crush on her uncle Antonio (Victor Clavijo), a professional photographer and charming ladies man.  She decides that she would like to take up photography despite her disability.  Ane begins shooting photos and video with a digital camera, and ends up capturing very candid and intimate moments she didn’t expect.  While her parents try to convince Ane to undergo another risky operation in hopes of restoring her sight, she discovers many truths about her family and herself that she actually hadn’t noticed when she could see.

Written and directed by Maru Solores and co-written by Ruth Rehmet, I found this fascinating coming of age story compelling, sometimes heartbreaking, but overall satisfying in its presentation.  Solores and Rehmet kept me in suspense as I couldn’t tell what direction the story would take.  There were times that the story would drag and I would lose interest, but these moments didn’t last as the pace would pick up and get back on track.  Solores presents a realistic, uplifting, and hopeful story for teens coping with disabilities along with the usual crises they face.

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