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LIBERTAD (2021, ŠPA) – 6.5/10

A solid coming-of-age drama was shot by the young Catalan filmmaker Clara Roquet (born in 1988), for whom “Libertad” won the award for the best new Spanish director. This film premiered at the critics’ week in Cannes, and just as much as it is a story about growing up and maturing a 13 or 14-year-old girl, “Libertad” is a drama about differences in social classes, told from the perspective of a member of the privileged class. That girl from the rich, privileged class is Nora, who spends every summer in her grandmother’s luxurious villa on the Catalan Costa Brava. The whole family traditionally gathers there, and since Grandma Angela suffers from Alzheimer’s and cannot be alone, the family hired Rosana from Colombia to help.

Rosana left her family in Bogotá ten or more years ago and arrived in Spain in search of work, and the dynamics of the relationship will completely change when her rebellious and angry 15-year-old daughter with a somewhat symbolic name, Libertad, arrives there. Very soon, the decent, obedient Nora from a completely typical girl from her class will find a role model in Libertad and she will start to be like her. She will also try to be more rebellious, more spontaneous, more temperamental and more determined, and Nora’s transformation will not exactly delight her mother Teresa (Nora Navas won the Goya Award for Best Supporting Actress), who has a handful of her own problems. The girl who until now practically lived in a kind of golden cage, probably completely unaware of the world around her and the real problems faced by those less fortunate than her, will begin to understand that the ideal life of her family is only an illusion and that beneath the facade there are hidden many problems.

“Libertad” was a film that avoids falling into those typical stereotypical and clichéd situations when it comes to films about class differences, and the situation is slowly and gently revealed. Both young actresses are excellent in the roles of Libertad and Nora, from whose perspective the film is presented and through whose eyes we practically follow the world in this film. Through the eyes of a docile little girl, the arrival of a girl who is perhaps a year older and has lived through everything and anything will open some horizons, and with Libertad, Nora will realize that her family may not be as perfect and harmonious as it seemed to her until yesterday. Or at least she was deceiving herself and trying to convince herself of that, but through some details and little things, it is clear to the viewer very quickly that it is not quite as it seems.