Summer in Alkaras, a large family in a normal rural village

Summer in Alkaras, a large family in a normal rural village


Director Carla Simon, who appeared like a comet in “Frida’s Summer of the Year” in 2018, was nominated in dozens of categories at numerous film festivals around the world and received many awards as it was difficult to count them one by one. Following the child’s gaze, it has produced the best and best results while being unrefined, so I can only say that it is great. It’s a victory for directing skills.

Four years later, coach Carla Simon returned with another best and best result, although it was not refined. It is “Summer in Alcaras,” which won the Golden Fantasy (best prize) at the 72nd Berlin Film Festival. The fact that it is an autobiographical story of the director and that it was filmed in a local village in Catalonia, Spain, is the same as “Frida’s Summer of That Year.” It is similar in that the main actor was selected as an audition for “Frida’s Summer of the Year” and the director himself searched for “Alkaras’ Summer.” The raw smoke from a completely unfamiliar face shone.

The movie shows the ordinary daily lives of three generations cultivating peach fields in Alcaras, a small town in Catalonia, Spain. However, a sudden change began to occur in this quiet village. Solar power generation plates are not coming in, large companies are hitting fruit prices at half price, and villagers sell their land for less than a bargain. How should the three generations respond to this pace of change?

a large family cultivating peach fields in a rural village

One summer day, three generations gather in Alcaras, a small town in Catalonia, Spain, to live in a peach field. My cousin’s children are busy chatting and jumping around. However, it detects a serious atmosphere in the way adults fight. Grandfather Rohelio hid the landlord’s family during the war, and thanks to him, he received a peach field and has been working on it so far, but it was the cause of the trouble that he did not write a contract. The son became a solar panel businessman and tried to push away the uncontracted peach field.

While Lohelio is in a state of despair, his son Kimet and grandson Rosé continue to cultivate the peach field. Everyone knows the seriousness, but Kimet says he can never hand over the peach field regardless of what happens. Kimet’s sister and her husband seem to have decided to hand over the peach field to the landlord’s son and jump into the solar power generation business, as their extended family will collapse if they continue like this.

On the other hand, her grandson Rosé works hard to help her with the field, but Kimet doesn’t like her son who doesn’t study, her daughter-in-law doesn’t like her husband sticking to his own position, and her granddaughter doesn’t like her family saying this and that behind her grandfather. The youngest sister is coming to play from Barcelona, and Kimet seems to have a good relationship with her and doesn’t look good. The biggest chimetro of this extended family is this and that, but I can’t see what to do. There is a way to live, but it is not easy to go that way.

be plain and natural

<Summer in Alkaras> is natural and unadorned inside and outside the movie. As previously known, the director personally searched for most of the main actors and selected them as auditions. It seems that actors close to amateurs were as considerate as possible not to feel burdened by acting. It’s as if the extended family in the movie is real as the members. It’s not just good relationships or bad relationships, but family members are repeatedly fighting and getting serious while laughing and crying.

The acting of “Children,” which also shone in “Frida’s Summer of That Year,” will also shine in this work. When you set the situation and look at children running around with endless energy, it can’t be more decorative and natural. Can these children’s acting be called ‘acting’? However, the reason why it cannot be said to be a documentary is that there are movements, facial expressions, and lines made at least by the director’s direction. The children’s acting is one of the core of “Summer in Alkaras.”

On the other hand, the part where children and grandfather are connected is another core and highlight of this work. Rohelio, a grandfather who devoted his life to cultivating peach fields and raising a large family, and his sons and daughters drive his father by childhood mistakes, but his grandchildren unconsciously sing hymns for his grandfather. No, it is not a one-sided hymn of grandchildren toward grandfathers, but a natural connection and connection. Since the first and third generations are connected, the second generation can naturally also serve as a centripetal point connecting both the first and third generations.

Catalonia and about disappearing

The movie doesn’t look like much, but there’s a lot to talk about when you look into it. First of all, you need to look at the area called Catalonia, where Summer in Alkaras are located. Agriculture occupies the majority of the industry as a fruit tree agricultural zone, with a strong claim to independence from Spain for various reasons, including history, language, politics, economy, and culture. In the meantime, there are problems such as the aging of the agricultural population and the erosion of large capital. Grandfather Rohelio symbolizes the aging of the agricultural population, and the solar power generation plate that the landlord’s son is trying to bring in represents the erosion of huge capital.

On the other hand, the roots of Catalonia’s separatist independence movement seem to be visible when they see son Kimet and grandson Rosé protesting with their colleagues against the peach-price slashing of large companies. Even if you harvest and bring peaches so hard, there will be no way not to protest because there is little return. There may be many other reasons, but Catalonia, which accounts for about 20% of the Spanish economy, is largely responsible for the reason that it is less likely to return to them. Catalonia and Barcelona are always behind Madrid, the capital of Spain.

Attention is focusing on what choice Kimet will make amid a flurry of various things. He is obliged to defend the peach field no matter what, but also to take responsibility for his extended family. As a person who inherited the peach field, I hate abandoning the peach field and accepting the solar power generation plate rather than abandoning my life. But if you abandon your beliefs, everyone will be able to eat well and live well.

While hoping that Kimet’s choice will be extremely realistic, it is inevitable that sadness and sorrow over disappearing things are flooding in. As the last scene of the movie is accurately expressed, it should not be delayed to watch until the end.

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