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THE ISLAND OF LIES (2020, ŠPA) – 6/10


Feature film debutant Paula Cons presented a mysterious drama based on real events from 1921. However, this murder mystery turned out to be a rather archaic and somewhat generic film. At the beginning of 1921, an ocean liner bound for Buenos Aires ran aground on a Galician islet. Out of more than 250 passengers, only about fifty of them survived, and the lives of those lucky ones were saved by women from the islet who had previously killed the overseer and thrown him into the sea. In the beginning, these women were celebrated as heroines, but a journalist (Dario Grandinetti) who came to write about the shipwreck began to look into the events on the island.

Even before the shipwreck, it is clear to us that something strange and mysterious is happening on that isolated and harsh islet, and there live mostly women who work for a landowner from the coast. When one night the overseer tries to rape a local woman, her friend will kill the lustful guy and throw his body into the sea, but the secret will not remain hidden for long. Although the environment in the Spanish-Argentinian co-production is excellent and we practically immediately understand what life could have been like on that island, the rest of it is rather thinly rendered. Even before a journalist realizes that a much better story than a shipwreck is something dark, corrupt and evil that is happening on this island, it is completely clear to us.