The Spirit of the Beehive (El Espíritu de la colmena)
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The Spirit of the Beehive (El Espíritu de la colmena)
Eight-year-old Ana lives in a close-knit Castillian village with her daydreamer mother Teresa, older sister Isabel and father Fernando, who tends beehives for a living. After watching James Whale's 1931 version of Frankenstein with Boris Karloff, little Ana becomes convinced that the monster in living in one of the nearby, rundown houses. When an escaped convict seeks refuge in one house, Ana believes she has finally met the monster of her nightmares.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's a film that transports us back not just to the sights and sounds of childhood but to a core of sweet innocence and sometimes ignorant bliss."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"Screening in a new print so pristine you forget that this film is 33 years old, Spirit of the Beehive sweeps you into its quiet world."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"Lyrical and magestic, Erice's film is one of the most compelling fables about haunted childhood."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"...a graceful, lyrical masterpiece wound around one of the most natural and engrossing performances by a child actor we've ever seen."
‑ Mark Bourne,
"Erice meant his film as a sly social commentary, but his opinions are so well enveloped in the film's dreamy coming-of-age tapestry that moviegoers worldwide (especially younger ones) have embraced it."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"This is a modest marvel of grace and framing that unfolds with the patience of a cloud and is driven more by wonder than pure emotion."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"Takes place at the particular intersection of reality and fantasy defined by youthful moviegoing."
‑ A.O. Scott, New York Times
"A most exceptional vision of the inner life of a child just learning about the darker complexities of life."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"A haunting, atmospheric film that focuses on a young girl's obsession with the Frankenstein monster."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Ana's fearful, credulous eyes are as wide as the flat Castilian horizon, striated by clouds and railroad tracks, which reach beyond the known world."
‑ Leo Goldsmith, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"Those who haven't seen it since the '70s may find themselves amazed all over again by its lyrical potency and grace; those who have never seen it may wonder how it can be that a film this great isn't shown somewhere all the time."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"Ana Torrent gives perhaps the greatest child performance of all time."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"Considered by many as one of the key Spanish films of the Seventies."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"filmmaking art of the highest caliber."
‑ Keith Breese,
"Every magic hour, light-drenched image in Victor Erice's Spirit of the Beehive is filled with mysterious dread."
‑ Dan Callahan, Slant Magazine
More reviews for The Spirit of the Beehive (El Espíritu de la colmena) on Rotten Tomatoes