San Sebastian 2023 | ‘O Corno’: Jaione Camborda explores the wounds of women during the late Franco era

In O Horn, Jaione Camborda introduces us to Maria (Janet Novas), a ‘marisqueira’ from the Ilha de Arousa in Franco’s Spain in the early 70s. At the same time, she works as a midwife helping women in the area bring their children into the world, although, as everyone knows , also helps to terminate unwanted pregnancies. One day, she is forced to flee the territory and seek shelter outside our borders.

This is how the second film by Guipuzcoan Jaione Camborda, who has been living in Galicia for years, is presented, competing in the Official Section of the San Sebastián Festival, claiming the culture, speech and history of that community. The incorporation of her in the first competition of the contest confirms the rising status of young Spanish directors, whose projection inside and outside the country is increasingly relevant.

‘O Corno’: film review


In its first stages, O Horn reveals to us, without hesitation, the true heart of the film: a woman attends a birth that takes place in a dimly lit room. The sequence, long and slow, stops at the midwife’s touch and the mother’s breathing, showing a bond between women that will be replicated in the different situations of the second film. Jaione Camborda.

The director from Gipuzkoa has been living in Galicia for more than 10 years and her cinematographic work has focused on the portrait of this territory, both in her shorts (To rapa das beastas2017) as in its lengths (Arima2019), and in O Horn The filmmaker once again acts as an observer of a Galician community to investigate the differences and similarities between then and our present.

This game of mirrors that the film proposes by trying to avoid as much as possible any mark that places us in a specific moment in history is, however, at the service of a broader mission, because what is at stake O Horn It is the body of women and those silent wounds that mark their existences. A birth, to start. An escape in the middle of the night. Reality and the telluric. Life and death.

It is not trivial to interpret the work from opposites, because the film itself proposes that duality by being biased in two: if at first we find ourselves in the field of a more or less luminous portrait of a community, the second part of the film is transformed in a nocturnal road movie that closes in the desperation of the protagonist. It is true that there is a decompensation between both sections, but, Above the narrative resources, there is its physicality, its silences and its mystery.

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