Film Review: One Woman’s Intimate Rebellion

By Ena Alvarado

A Swedish–Costa Rican director takes an unexpected approach to themes of sexuality and religious devotion.

This article is adapted from AQ’s special report on the education crisis When asked if she believes in the Virgin Mary, Clara, the protagonist in Nathalie Álvarez Mesén’s debut feature, Clara Sola, responds flatly: “I can do whatever I feel like.” Though she seems self-assured, her words reflect aspiration more than reality. After all, Clara is a 40-year-old woman tightly controlled by those around her, with little to no say over her own movements, health, or even clothes. Hers is a constricted life, and Álvarez Mesén’s intimate film reveals what becomes of it when...

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