The Sky Turns | Chicago Reader

The Sky Turns

Distinguished only by Alberto Rodriguez's impressionistic cinematography, this 2004 documentary by Mercedes Alvarez surveys her hometown, the fading rustic village of AldealseƱor in northern Spain. The filmmaker makes some ambitious thematic leaps: the Roman conquest of nearby Numantia is compared to the imperial ambitions of George W. Bush (as bombers soar overhead to Baghdad), dinosaur fossils are likened to elderly villagers, and a medieval Moorish castle being redeveloped as an upscale hotel is linked to new Moroccan immigration. But Alvarez's pacing is tortured, and her metaphor of a nearly blind painter recording a dying culture is heavy-handed. In Spanish and Arabic with subtitles. 106 min.

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