Dir Laura Mañá, 2004, Spain, (105 mins)
Lluís Homar, Ana Fernández, Ferran Rañé
When a renegade gangster with a bag full of loot finds himself in the bizarre town of San Hilario he cannot believe his luck. In a haphazard case of mistaken identity, he is warmly welcomed by the natives who believe him to be in line for the town’s only industry - the staging of elaborate funerals.
While the fish-out-of-water scenario feels familiar, the homespun values of the small town are given an entertaining twist by the actions of the town’s inhabitants. Each has their own quirky perspectives on death; from a lovelorn artist suffering from multiple abortive suicide attempts, to the priest obsessed with imagining god’s face, and the beautiful woman who only falls in love with dying men, as long as they reveal their secrets. A distinctly old fashioned affair, the film’s farce has plenty of chutzpah and the comic pacing weaves well into the moments of magical realism. Kate Taylor