ŽubrOFFka 2016. Review of “Lina” by Nur Casadevall

“Lina”, Nur Casadevall’s graduation film is a contemplative, moody and delicate coming of age story that premiered at this year’s Málaga Film Festival where it won the Best Director Award before going on to have quite a successful life on the festival circuit.

“Lina” is the story a fifteen-year old girl born into a high society family who lives in a very rigid environment. She is a very special girl but does not seem to be able to communicate with her family or to socialize with her peers. Lina becomes attracted to her swimming teacher, a young man who will make her feel special. Charmed by his sympathetic and attractive nature, she will end up idolizing him, thinking he is her prince charming who will save her from her constant profound feeling of loneliness and abandonment. But, it will not take her long to grasp the cruel reality and therefore fall into an emotional abyss.

Looking to capture and depict the female sensibility and the discovery of what it means to be(come) a woman, “Lina” reflects the director’s freedom of thought and emotion not subject to any creative constraint. Creating a strong image that conveys a specific mood and atmosphere as a means of telling her story rather than by voicing it through her characters is what drives Nur Casadevall in this particular short film. This is precisely why the dialogues are scarce in “Lina”. In that, the young Catalan director has been able to conjure an atmosphere that takes her audience through different moods with a very pristine and polished style and aesthetic. These are achieved by the symbiosis of her assured directing and Angelo Faccini’s wonderful lensing made up of a greyish/blue palette and a touch of chiaroscuro that give extra texture to the story and a layer of depth to characters, the delicate play with light underlining the protagonist’s progressive change of mood and awakening. The teacher’s true nature and their last encounter only heighten and highlight her fragility. In that sense, the acting is emotional and nuanced as newcomer model Mireia Oriol gives an incredibly nuanced turn and is able to thoroughly carry the entire short opposite the more seasoned Raül Tortosa.

“Lina” is a meditative, deep and though-provoking short film about loneliness, doubt, and the fear of growing up by a very promising young voice of Spanish cinema.



Production: ESCAC (Spain 2016)

Producer: Judit Cortina

Director: Nur Casadevall

Screenplay: Nur Casadevall

Cinematography: Angello Faccini

Music: Chris Mears

Production Design: Txell Prada

Editing: Júlia Bagaria

Cast: Mireia Oriol, Raül Tortosa

Color – 20 min.

Premiere: Festival de Málaga. Cine en Español

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