Facing the Wind is the debut feature film from Spanish filmmaker Meritxell Colell Aparicio, featuring a cast of first-time actors to create an image of home ties and relationships through the image of dance.

Real-life choreographer Monica Garcia plays Monica, a dancer living in Buenos Aires, who is called back to her childhood home to be with her mother after her father dies. Spending time in the natural landscapes of the Spanish coast, Monica reconnects with her mother, sisters and extended family, whom she hasn’t seen for at least 20 years.

The plot of the film is fairly loose and works around the main premise by delivering a number of scenes of action and conversation. However, the constant quiet between family members begins to feel tiresome as the film ticks over into its second hour; emotions never run too high, making for a relaxed, but lukewarm, tone throughout.

Saving Facing the Wind from tipping over into being uninteresting is the style in which it is shot. The camera sticks close to its subjects, and the focus on nature throughout the film makes for a tactile effect – you almost feel the temperature of the air, the grass and the sea around Monica as she reconnects with the home she left behind. She uses dance to navigate some of these spaces – for example the huge cliffs on the coast – and the closeup shots of her body moving mix in with shots of the natural space, joining them together in a sensitive and quite beautiful way.

An original but not quite tidy debut from Meritxell Colell Aparicio, Facing the Wind can drag at times when it focuses more on dialogue, but it finds its moments of beauty in Monica’s personal study of her relationship with her natural surroundings.



CAST: Monica Garcia, Concha Canal, Ana Fernández, Elena Martín

DIRECTOR: Meritxell Colell Aparicio

WRITER: Meritxell Colell Aparicio

SYNOPSIS: After spending 20 years living in Buenos Aires as a professional dancer, Monica is called home to Spain to look after her mother in the wake of her father’s death. Once there, she reconnects with her home and family.