Oriana

A first feature (1985) by a young woman director, Fina Torres, who was born in Venezuela and studied film in Paris; the story, not surprisingly, is about a young Venezuelan woman who returns home from Paris and must face the troubling childhood memories embedded in the hacienda she's inherited from her aunt. As she wanders the now-empty rooms, she relives, in nested flashbacks, her discovery that her aunt was the victim of a tragic love affair. It's a well-wrought mood piece (it won the first-film prize at Cannes) that shows off an impressive technical polish and a refined romantic sensibility, yet the feelings are a bit too self-consciously exquisite and the drama a bit too artificially constructed for the spell to really take hold. With Doris Wells, Daniela Silverio (Antonioni's discovery in Identification of a Woman), Rafael Briceno, and Mirta Borges.

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