351. The Spirit of the Beehive

When the movie Frankenstein comes to a small village just after the Spanish Civil War, it alters the lives of young, precocious Ana and her sister Teresa. The two of them create their own mythology around the film, and soon Ana becomes obsessed with finding the spirit of Frankenstein. What first struck me about THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE were its beautiful visuals, particularly the honey-gold colors that saturate the film. With the help of two gifted child actors, the story draws you in immediately to the world of childhood logic, where make-believe and reality are closely entwined. Ana’s experiences are moving, even when it’s difficult to pin down their exact meanings and consequences. The parents are in a number of scenes as well, with their own postwar ruminations on life, but it’s Ana’s mystical view of the world that stays with me.