The teacher who promised the sea: the beauty of an essentially beautiful story (***)

by archynewsy
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There are stories whose only meaning is beauty in its broadest, almost platonic meaning. What is beautiful is what is good, what is fair and what is ethical, rather than what is harmonious, what is useful or, simply, what is pleasant. The one that recovers the movie The teacher who promised the sea is, without a doubt, one of them. Also knowing that it is true, that it happened and that its memory is kept like a treasure in the town of Bañuelos de Bureba in Burgos makes it almost a monument; a monument of beauty. And sincerely. And sadness too. Patricia Font tells what happened to Antoni Benaiges, a teacher determined to be so, once again, beautifully and with all the consequences. He did badly. Things from the barbarism of the Civil War, ours.

Enrique Auquer He is responsible for giving it life. We are a few months away from the coup d’état and the teacher dreams of his students learning letters, numbers, the secrets of life itself and, for that matter, seeing the sea. That in the past. In the present, Laia Costa she plays the granddaughter of a man who was a student of Benaiges and who is searching for the remains of a missing ancestor. Font manages to sew the two stories together with simplicity, with delicacy and with great attention to caressing, rather than just pointing out or denouncing, the wounds of memory.

Let’s say that the film grows and becomes strong in the meticulous reconstruction of what happened, always very careful not to get caught up in the now inevitable clichés that the genre accumulates. Auquer demonstrates once again his talent and ease in adapting to all registers. However, the film hesitates and, at times, gets stuck in the part that takes place in today. All the darkness that is reflected in the face of Laia Costa’s character is barely explained or argued. And the worst thing, it hinders and takes away the spotlight from what really matters: the immense sad beauty of a perfect story. And beautiful.

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