BUFS prereview: Blancanieves

This week, BUFS is pleased to present the award-winning Spanish film, Blancanieves.

When The Artist swept the Oscars in 2012, many critics waxed nostalgic about the silent film era. But other critics and scholars pointed out that the proclaimed homage to silent film had somehow missed the boat—that there was a difference between a film without dialogue and the great silent films of yesteryear.

In Blancanieves, we get another foray into the world of silent film, this time in a retelling of the story of Snow White. In Seville in the 1920s, a bullfighter proudly blows a kiss to his pregnant wife, who looks on. But fate deals a cruel blow to the matador, and his wife goes into early labour. Only the child survives the birth.

Encarna, the ailing matador’s new wife, hates her stepdaughter, Carmen, and when banishing the child fails to make her father forget about her, she takes stronger measures. A diabolical plot leaves teenaged Carmen lost in the woods and suffering from amnesia, but she is befriended by a comedy troupe of seven little men who are delighted to find that their new companion has quite the knack for bullfighting. They christen her Snow White and take her back to Seville in the hopes of making their fortune.

Do we need a spoiler alert for a fairy tale? We all know the story, but Blancanieves is unlike any version you’ve seen before. It just might change the way you think of Snow White—and silent films.

Blancanieves screens Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Empire Theatres, Pen Centre. Visit brocku.ca/bufs for details.

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