Two separate story lines running alongside one another. The first set in Catalonia, 1931 where a group of children all suffering from a bizarre disease, are taken from their homes and put into the local sanatorium. There a German doctor (Derek de Lint) hopes to teach them about the nature of suffering so they can be rehabilitated and re-enter society.
The horrors of the civil war and its aftermath intervene however and much of the hope for these children is lost. The other story is set in present day where a brilliant surgeon (Alex Brendemuhl) is injured in a car accident where it is then discovered he has cancer and needs a bone marrow donation to live. The leads itself to an investigation into his roots, some dark hidden family secrets and that all eventually leads him to that sanatorium where the past has not been fully forgotten.
This is a true genre bending movie, of course there are many gruesome moments and grizzly deaths but this is by no means a straight up horror film. The back drop of the civil war offers up an allegorical depiction of atrocities committed at the time that are still being dealt with and deeply felt today in Spain’s society. Also the story of the doctor delving into his troubled family history gives the film an emotional heft and something for the audience to connect with.
Painless is anchored with wonderful performances, especially by the children who as in the movie are dealing with issues and situations well beyond their years. Director Juan Carlos Medina walks a wonder tightrope with this film perfectly balancing the two storylines and giving the audience as much pathos as horror, and as much sadness as beauty.
Directed by: Juan Carlos Medina
Starring: Tomas Lemarquis, Alex Brendemühl, Derek De Lint, Juan Diego, Silvia Bel
Saturday September 15
Scotiabank 3, 2:45 PM
Written by Jason Poynton
Jason works on his feet all day, so when he gets some downtime his greatest joy is to settle in at a movie theatre and see a couple movies back-to-back, or in the the case of film festival season race around the city and see four or five in a day. Of course after the movies it’s time to eat and drink and talk it out with some friends.