SUMMER 1993

"Beautiful, Redemptive Coming-of-Age Story"

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Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

SUMMER 1993 is a moving Spanish drama about a 6-year-old orphaned girl who goes to live in the countryside with her aunt and uncle, but has trouble adjusting to them and their own daughter, her 3-year-old cousin. SUMMER 1993 is a beautiful, redemptive coming-of-age story that extols Christian love, forgiveness, sacrifice, and family, but MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children because of two scenes set in a butcher shop and three obscenities, including one “f” word.

Review:

SUMMER 1993 is a Spanish drama about a 6-year-old orphaned girl, who goes to live in the countryside with her aunt and uncle but has trouble adjusting to them and their own daughter, a 3-year-old cousin.

SUMMER 1993 begins as 6-year-old Frida is moving from her home in Barcelona, Spain, to live with her uncle and his family after her mother dies. A practically silent little girl, Frida takes in her new life, but not without quiet retaliations. While her new aunt tries to take care of her with love and patience, Frida resents the things she does. She also resents her cousin Anna because of her possession of real parents.

One day, when Anna wants to play with her, Frida leads her into the woods as if to play but leaves her alone so she can have some peace to herself. When her new aunt, Marga, comes looking for Anna, Frida denies knowing her whereabouts and pretends looking for Anna herself. Soon enough, Marga returns home with Anna, relatively okay, but with a cast on her tiny arm.

Marga tells her husband it’s time they begin to discipline Frida. However, just as she tries to do that, the sudden appearance of Frida’s grandparents throws her teachings for a loop. Although they mean well, the grandparents spoil Frida, and once Frida knows what she can get away with, she begins to push even further. A good liar and manipulator, Frida tells her grandparents her new family makes her clean constantly and treats her like their servant. She struggles to leave with them when their visit ends, making the job and efforts of her aunt completely fruitless.

Feeling helpless and alone, Frida decides no one in that house really loves her and decides to run away in the middle of the night. Anna finds her and professes her love for her, but it’s not enough to make Frida stay. Discovering her departure, Marga and her husband immediately begin a frantic search for Frida, because their house is close to a busy highway. Their search goes on but a few minutes when Frida returns, declaring it’s too dark to run away so she will leave in the morning.

Eventually, time begins to heal the wounds the deaths of her parents created, and Frida begins to soften toward her new family. She finally gets the courage to ask about her mother’s death and gets the reassurance she needs to know that her mother always loved her.

SUMMER 1993 is a beautiful, redemptive coming-of-age story based on the real-life experiences of Writer/Director Carla Simón. The fantastically natural performances given by everyone in the movie, and especially the young actresses, give off the feeling of merely watching people’s lives, not a rehearsed movie. Without an overwhelming amount of dialogue, the story is told through the expressive eyes of children, showing each emotion very vividly. As the official Spanish submission for the Oscar Awards, this movie will please many fans of foreign movies.

The story in SUMMER 1993 centers on themes of Christian love, forgiveness and sacrifice. Early in the story, Frida’s grandmother teaches her the Lord’s Prayer, and Frida recites it quietly to herself every night before she goes to bed. There is very little questionable content throughout the movie. However, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children because of two scenes set in a butcher shop and three obscenities, including one “f” word.

Content:

(CC, BB, L, V, N, D, MM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Christian moral worldview extolling love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and family where a young orphaned girl’s family tries to do what is right for her and treat her with love despite her actions, although her bad behavior is excused at first because of the death of her mother, but she is later scolded for her actions and eventually learns to do what is right, and young girl’s grandmother teaches her the Lord’s Prayer and girl recites it to herself before she goes to sleep at night;

Foul Language:
Three obscenities (including one “f” word) and no profanities, plus woman is shown urinating and removes a feminine napkin that has blood on it;

Violence:
Light amount of violence, such as a girl trips and falls, scraping her knee and showing blood on her leg, on two occasions animals are shown in a butcher shop being chopped into pieces as well as the blood being drained from the head;

Sex:
No sexual content;

Nudity:
Light amount of nudity, as the two little girls are shown dressing, or in the bathtub, and swimming in their underwear, is depicted in a very innocent way, with nothing sexual depicted;

Alcohol Use:
No alcohol use;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
A few adult characters are shown smoking cigarettes throughout the film and little girl pretends to smoke a cigarette by using a twig; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Strong miscellaneous immorality, such as a girl constantly disrespects her elders, specifically her aunt, girl on multiple occasions lies to different people throughout the movie, and a few examples of bullying.

In Brief:

The Spanish drama SUMMER 1993 follows a 6-year-old orphaned girl named Frida, who leaves Barcelona to live with her uncle, aunt and their 3-year-old daughter in the countryside. Frida is welcomed lovingly by her aunt, uncle and younger cousin Anna, but she has difficulty adjusting. She begins acting out by disobeying and lying to her aunt and bullying Anna. Frida must accept these changes and, with the help of her family, realize how much she’s truly loved.

SUMMER 1993 focuses on the life shared by two young girls, who deliver extremely raw, deep, and moving performances from beginning to end. The script is based on the writer/director’s own life when she was a young girl living in Spain. Whether that is the reason, or if it was just well executed, this movie provides such a natural approach to telling the story, that viewers empathize easily with each character. SUMMER 1993 beautifully extols Christian love, forgiveness, sacrifice, and family. However, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children because of two scenes in a butcher shop and three obscenities, including one “f” word.