Painless (Medina, 2012): Empire Leicester Square, 10.20am
This screening takes place on the fourth day of Fright Fest 2013, the
UK's premiere international fantasy and horror film festival. You can
find the details of the festival here. I am indebted to horror film expert Nigel Floyd and Cigarette Burns' Josh Saco for the suggestions and selections.
Fright Fest introduction: A strikingly original vision of European history, poetry and cinematic
artistry, director Juan Carlos Medina’s astonishing feature debut is a
sophisticated adult fable. Like THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE and PAN’S LABYRINTH
it offers a child’s searing viewpoint of wartime as an expressionistic
nightmare, full of assorted abstract horrors and heightened surrealism.
On the eve of the Spanish Civil War in 1931 a group of children
insensitive to physical pain are incarcerated in the fortress-like
Canfranc hospital high in the Pyrenees to be taught what physical
suffering actually means and its fatal consequences. But this
rehabilitation exercise eventually disappears in the face of the
encroaching black years of dictatorship and one of the boys,
rechristened Berkano, accidentally becomes the most feared torturer of
General Franco’s regime. Moving and melancholic, shocking and sobering,
unforgettably powerful and beautifully directed, this stunning
masterpiece is bound to leave you spellbound throughout until the
operatic tear-inducing finale.
Here is the trailer.