"Dark Fairy Tale"
What You Need To Know:
BLANCANIEVES is a black and white, silent movie version of Snow White, set in 1920s Spain. Carmen, the daughter of a crippled matador, comes under the cruel rule of her evil stepmother. Her father manages to teach Carmen some of his bullfighting skills behind the stepmother’s back. Eventually, the stepmother kills the father and tries to have Carmen murdered. Carmen escapes to become part of a comical troupe of bullfighting dwarves. The dwarves name her Snow White, in honor of the fairy tale. They are surprised that Carmen has natural bullfighting abilities. So, Carmen becomes part of their act. As fame of Carmen’s bullfighting skills spreads, the evil stepmother learns that Carmen has somehow survived. So she prepares a poisoned apple for the beautiful young woman.
BLANCANIEVES has fairly good music, acting and directing, with some positive Christian references. However, it has some dark and bizarre moments, along with a tragic ending. Finally, there is no foul language, but there are brief, but lewd, allusions to the evil stepmother’s illicit affair with the family chauffeur. Strong caution is advised for BLANCANIEVES.
(C, VV, S, D, M) Light Christian worldview in a modern version of Snow White that ends in tragedy with positive references to the Christian/Catholic faith of the good people in the story, with the Prince Charming character becoming a handsome dwarf who falls in love with the young woman oppressed by an evil stepmother; no foul language; some scary violence with little blood includes a bull attacks a matador and paralyzes him, woman has a difficult childbirth that kills her but the baby survives, man tries to strangle the Snow White character and leaves her for dead in a stream, implied death of a villain by a mean bull, implied murder of man in wheelchair with an image of his body lying on a stair landing, people have photos taken of themselves with dead body of beloved patriarch, grandmother has a heart attack, implied killing of pet rooster and evil stepmother tries to feed the cooked rooster to her stepdaughter, and a tear rolls down a dead woman’s face; no depicted sex scenes but little girl spies on her stepmother and sees her with a whip in her hand and treating her illicit lover as a horse, stepmother has an adulterous affair, man kisses dead woman in glass coffin and her body rises up but it’s really a trick with a secret pedal under the coffin to make the dead body rise up and scare the customer; no nudity; alcohol use; smoking cigars; and, deceit by villains and there’s a tragic ending that may disturb some or many viewers.
BLANCANIEVES is a black and white silent movie version of Snow White, set in 1920s Spain. It’s a weird combination of fairy tale lyricism, humor, bizarre images, and modern tragedy.
The movie opens with a famous matador, Antonio, being gored and paralyzed by a mean bull named Lucifer. The sight of her husband being gored traumatizes Antonio’s pregnant wife, so she dies in childbirth. Because of the death of his wife, Antonio rejects his baby daughter, Carmen. So, little Carmencita is taken care of by her grandmother.
Meanwhile, an evil woman, Encarna, seduces the crippled Antonio into marrying her. So, when the grandmother dies a few years later, Carmencita comes under the harsh and cruel rule of her evil stepmother.
Despite this, little Carmen is able to befriend her father, who begins to teach Carmen about bullfighting. Encarna soon discovers what’s happening, so she kills Carmen’s pet rooster. Then, when Carmen grows up to become a young woman, Encarna kills her father and orders her lover, the chauffeur to take Carmen into the woods to kill her.
The chauffeur thinks he’s successfully drowned Carmen, but she’s rescued by a handsome young dwarf. The dwarf is part of a band of six dwarfs who stage comic bullfights with young bulls. The dwarves take Carmen under their wing and are surprised to find that she has bullfighting skills. So, they decide to build her as a female bullfighter named Blancanieves, or Snow White in Spanish.
As the bullfighting Snow White, Carmen begins to be famous. When her stepmother learns of her existence, she decides to kill her with a poisoned apple. To make matters worse, one of the older dwarves is jealous and plans to kill Carmen too.
BLANCANIEVES is an accomplished production. The music, acting, and directing are good. BLANCANIEVES also contains some positive references to the Christian Catholic faith of Carmen and her father. These and other scenes are quite moving. However, there are some dark and bizarre moments in the movie. Also, the movie’s ending is tragic. There is no Prince Charming coming to rescue Snow White. There is no foul language in BLANCANIEVES, but there are brief, but lewd, allusions to the evil stepmother’s illicit affair with the family’s chauffeur. Strong caution is advised.