Spain | 2012 | 101 min. Director: Imanol Uribe | Thriller | Spanish with English subtitles

Orange Honey (Miel de naranjas) is a story set in post war 1950s Andalusia. It involves a couple, young and in love, whose lives are separated only to cross again at pivotal moments.

Iban Garate plays Enrique, the movie’s protagonist. He joins Franco’s regime working in the court system for military judge, Don Eladio (Karra Elejalde), an authoritarian quick to make decisions by sending cases to execution. Political prisoners are done away with in plain sight, surrounded by the exquisiteness of the Spanish village, which is spectacularly set by director Imanol Uribe’s insatiable attention to historical detail. It feels like cynicism brewing.

But this is just one part of Enrique’s life and one part of the movie’s theme and tone. Enrique’s love, Carmen, played by the beautiful Blanca Suarez, just happens to be the niece of the evil Don Eladio. Enrique’s mother Maria (Angela Molina), who is in a psych ward, is cared for by Don Jose (Fernando Soto) who ends up in Don Eladio’s court. Enrique becomes so disturbed by his daily observations and Don Jose’s execution that he finally crosses over joining the resistance. He delves into a world of secrets and espionage that put his life and that of those around him in danger. He’ll soon be surprised by everyone involved in these underground anti-fascist efforts.

The drama turns romance turns fast-paced historical military thriller. Adding even more movement is Nuno Malo‘s orchestral score. The film also touches on friendship and the limits and extremes it encompasses. Orange Honey takes you on cringe-inducing moments of suspense, feeling the fear and terror of those ultimately trying to survive while fighting in the name of freedom.

Directed by Imanol Uribe, the cast includes Iban Garate, Blanca Suarez, Karra Elejalde, Angela Molina, Filipe Duarte, Fernando Soto, Eduard Fernandez. 2012.

 

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