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FILMS / REVIEWS Spain / Argentina

Review: Unfinished Affairs

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- Tragedy pervades Juan Miguel del Castillo's second feature film, in which he condemns violence by portraying the psychological damage it leaves on its victims and those close to them

Review: Unfinished Affairs
Fred Tatien and Natalia de Molina in Unfinished Affairs

Where gender-based aggression is concerned, it is difficult for peace to return. This is the harsh reality portrayed by Juan Miguel de Castillo in his new film, Unfinished Affairs [+see also:
trailer
interview: Juan Miguel del Castillo
film profile
]
, which opens on Friday 13 May in Spanish cinemas with A Contracorriente Films after having competed in the official section of the 25th Malaga Film Festival. The Andalusian filmmaker also participated in the event years ago with his debut film, Food and Shelter [+see also:
trailer
interview: Juan Miguel del Castillo
film profile
]
, which won Natalia de Molina the award for best actress (who would later win a Goya).

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Once again, the actress born in Jaén becomes Juan Miguel del Castillo's muse, playing the central female role in this tragic drama in a thriller format. A highly distrustful and skittish nurse who, every day before leaving her home, watches the outside world carefully and anxiously for fear that the monster who mistreated her in the past may appear and whose aggressions have remained forever imprinted in her brain with the dread that these assaults may reoccur.

Something different, but of the same nature, is experienced by the other main character in this feature film: a policeman played by the French actor Fred Tatien (seen in a supporting role in Black Beach [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), who arrives in Cádiz looking for light after a dark and terrible event –the most painful that a protective father can imagine–, which he cannot get over. The encounter between these two deeply wounded beings will create a mirror effect where they will both see themselves reflected.

Also, a heinous crime devastates the city where the action takes place, making the inner conflict of these two characters even more acute. An investigation into the underworld shifts this film from psychological drama to thriller, harmoniously swinging between both genres. However, the search for the criminal wanes in comparison to the empathy that the audience feels for the personal ordeal of the central characters.

Based on the novel of the same name by Benito Olmo, Unfinished Affairs navigates through an uncomfortable and unhealthy atmosphere where Juan Miguel del Castillo aims to condemn male violence and its collateral damage, from which no one is spared, regardless of gender, profession, age or status. The entrenched social differences and the lumpen underworld also feature in a film made with a commendable effort to create emotional states and growing tension, supported by a cast which, aside from the aforementioned, includes outstanding supporting actors.

Unfinished Affairs is a co-production between the Spanish companies Áralan Films, A Contracorriente Films and La maniobra de la tortuga, A.I.E., and the Argentinian company Aleph Media. Its international sales are managed by Latido Films.

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(Translated from Spanish by Vicky York)

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