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Pablo Berger, 2012

Studiocanal

Daughter of a bullfighter and a flamenco singer, the heroine in this silent, 1920s Seville-set telling of Snow White could not be more archetypally Spanish. And it’s tempting to read the whole thing as historical allegory: the bloody tragedy that tears the family apart, the years of oppression under a cruel tyrant, the promise of riches that leads to lingering malaise.

But the dominant tone is camp melodrama that verges on the pantomime. Pablo Berger’s story needed more of what Kiko de la Rica’s immaculate cinematography has in spades: light and shade.

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