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Wounded (La Herida)

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The bleak story of a psychologically damaged woman in a film that lacks both direction and a way out.

Image of Wounded (La Herida)

Showing @ Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Sat 11 Oct @ 18.00 & Sun 12 Oct @ 13.00

Fernando Franco / 2013 / Spain / 97 mins

Wounded tells the story of Ana, a young woman who, unbeknownst to everyone, is suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. In this harsh and severe drama, Franco explores the isolation those with mental illness feel, particularly when their symptoms are left ignored.

There is not much to say when it comes to the drama’s plot. The film, following Ana’s life, has no set direction, and although there are moments when Ana appears to be slowly recovering, such hope is removed just as quickly as she relapses. By the end we are left with a woman who is just as damaged as she was at the beginning, with no sense of her situation improving anytime soon.

The major flaw of the film is the fact that the illness Ana has is never explicitly identified. Although in synopses her condition is described as Borderline Personality Disorder, this is not made clear during the narrative. In truth, Ana seems to exhibit so many psychological symptoms that it is almost impossible to identify what she is suffering from. Consequently, it sometimes feels hard to empathise with her, especially when she is seen taking copious amounts of drugs and shoplifting. That said, these impulsive behaviours are cries for help and attention, which – like Anna – are ignored.

Despite its shortcomings, there are elements that must be admired within the drama. Franco’s decision to not include a soundtrack not only adds realism to the film, it also reflects the isolation that Ana feels, having no one to physically voice her thoughts and fears to. Credit has to be given to lead actress Marian Álvarez, who within every scene gives a convincing portrayal of a woman tortured by her psychological problems. Even without the support of musical cues, Álvarez effectively creates tension through her character’s unpredictable emotions and behaviour.

Despite Álvarez’s praiseworthy performance, however, Wounded is a film that is without an engrossing plot, offering no hope for Ana. Consequently, it’s no surprise the audience feels depressed and deflated as the credits roll.

Showing as part of the Edinburgh Spanish film Festival

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