© Twentieth Century Fox of Germany GmbH

Das verborgene Gesicht (The Hidden Face, La Cara Oculta)
Colombia/Spain 2011

Opening 13 Sep 2012

Directed by: Andrés Baiz
Writing credits: Stewart St. John, Andrés Baiz, Arturo Infante, Hatem Khraiche
Principal actors: Martina García, Quim Gutiérrez, Clara Lago, Alexandra Stewart

This thriller centers on the mysterious disappearance of a conductor’s girlfriend.

The film begins with a farewell video message from Belén (Clara Lago), who accompanied her boyfriend Adrián (Quim Gutiérrez), a young Spanish conductor, to Bogotá. A little later, we see a distraught Adrián drowning his tears in alcohol in a bar. Watching him cry, one of the waitresses comments: “crying men are always guilty”. When Adrián leaves the bar drunk, he almost gets into a brawl in front of the bar, but is saved by Fabiana (Martina García), another waitress who gives him shelter for the night. When Adrián begins a new relationship with Fabiana, he asks her to move in with him at the secluded mansion he and his ex-girlfriend had rented together. Very soon, strange things begin to happen: the power fails with every rain, Fabiana hears strange noises out of the sink in the bathroom and the shower seems to have its own will. In the mean time, the police show up and declare Adrián a suspect regarding Belén’s disappearance.

It is only on the surface that the plot is led by the question whether Adrián is guilty or not guilty of his girlfriend’s disappearance. What sets this thriller apart is the exploration of the question whether it is actually the supernatural that we should fear, or rather the unconscious basic feelings of human nature. Slowly we discover that the ever-present allusions to water symbolize hidden feelings of fear, jealousy and desire, that, having been ignored, lead into a catastrophe. While the story unravels around a secret deeply hidden in the core of the mansion, the characters are confronted with the consequences of past mistakes. Will guilt compel them to finally take up responsibility for their deeds?

All in all, I would give this movie three and a half stars. I enjoyed the experience and I couldn’t anticipate most twists of the plot. The characters were immature most of the times, but not unrealistic. Personally, I liked how the characters were actually confronted with their mistakes. I also enjoyed watching a movie in Spanish (with subtitles) for a change. (Katia Trost)

The theaters below show films in their original language; click on the links for showtimes and ticket information.
Interviews with the stars, general film articles, and reports on press conferences and film festivals.
Subscribe to the free KinoCritics monthly email newsletter here.