Still two times about Cria Cuervos. Why is this movie that important for me and so meaningful? Where is her enormous beauty hidden? To find an answer on this, I concentrated myself on Ana Torrent, who plays the nine-years old Ana (and the mother in retrospective), the pivot of the movie.
In itself the story is not spectacular: an adult woman is looking back on her childhood, a period around her ninth year, in which she experiences the loss of both parents, especially the mother, during it seems, one summertime. Almost everything has been enacted in the parental house, a big house with a closed and ruinous garden. On the end of summer, Ana and her sisters are leaving the house, going back to school, returning to a full life, after the summer period which showed itself as one big long dream.
Cria Cuervos means: ‘the nourishing of ravens’ (and after they pick out your eyes, the Spanish proverb speaks about, the raising of young animals, instinctive, as a necessary phase before flying out, but could be named: ‘Porque te vas’, ‘Why have you left me?’ as the big question which is obsessing a child life and which can be processed for better or for worse by little Ana. Carlos Saura, the director of Cria Cuervos, remarked on this:
‘I never believed in the paradise of infancy. On the contrary I believe that the childhood years are a stage in which the fear of the night, of the unknown, the feeling of unintelligibility, the loneliness are present just as much as the lust for life and the curiosity which all educationalists are talking about. I don’t believe in innocence of natural goodness of children.’
The German writer Robert Wolfgang Schnell wrote in his in 1968 published novel: Erziehung durch Dienstmädchen:
‘What has stayed for a short period in the remarkable room of the heart, which we call memory, I noticed. The sadness from the childhood years are replaced by the big, the adult, drier tears. The experiences have been mixed up with other memories from my childhood, it’s Sinbad’s boat, sailing along fantastic and horrible banks, hour after hour.’
Porque té vas
In Cria Cuervos music plays a special part. Mompou’s cancon nr 6 even plays a main part in Piano Etude nr 9 piano dream.
Years ago in Barcelona I searched through the piano music from Federico Mompou and discovered cancons i danses 12 songs and dances, written over forty years. Mompou lived from 1893 till 1987. Cancon i danse nr. 6 is Ana’s favourite melody. Mompou composed this one in 1942 and performed the composition himself in service of the movie recording. Later it was published in Barcelona on cd. The melody is stirring and enigmatic, soft introvert melancholy, a performer of a deep suffering, a big abandonment. It is if Ana does not understand that pain comes together with her mother’s suffering. She is the witness of her loneliness and being hurt in love and of her painful almost animalistic dying.
The ‘second music’ is Porque te vas, a top hit in Spain in 1976, performed by the singer Jeanette, written by José Luis Perales. Almost unknown in 1974, but because of Saura’s movie a became a top hit.
In three scenes the children have been positioned in their different worlds. The first one is the Porque-te-vas-dance, in which Ana is the link, first she starts dancing with Irene, later on with Maite.
Then the fancy dress party in the room, in which the adult world has been imitated and characterized and then playing at hide-and-seek in the wood during the excursion, ‘who has been seen is dead,’ another link in the burning question of the movie: Why you did leave? And all the time, Ana is the connection.
The text of Porque te vas is certainly a tear-jerker, but with its aggressive music increasing the power of the song and because of its meaning given by Saura’s movie it’s the eternal theme of leaving, farewell, being left.
The sun is shining by my window today
And the heart
Is going sad watching the town
Why are you leaving
As every night I woke up
Thinking of you
And on my clock I watched every hours
Why are you leaving
Every promise of my love will go with you
You’ll forget me
You’ll forget me