O Sacho | Kansas, USA | 12/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful movie which offers a different view of Spain, far from Almodóvar's or Amenábar's films. I first saw it in Spain when it first came to theaters, and now I own the Region2/PAL DVD version, so I cannot offer any technical information about this Region 1 DVD. But I love the film, as did many critics who have highlighted the good pace of the film, the story, and the performances: a good balance between experienced actors (José Sancho, Luis Tosar) and newcomers (Marilin Torres, Lisette Mejía).
The story takes place in Santa Eulalia, a small town lost in inner Spain. The locals, concerned about the lack of females in town and the risk of the town disappearing in the future, organizes a bus trip for single women to visit and meet the bachelors in town. The film focuses on three women and their local romantic partners: Patricia, a woman from the Dominican Republic, who runs away from Madrid, where she is illegally working, to look for economic stability for her children; Marirrosi, who comes from Bilbao, has a good job as a nurse, and an independent and comfortable life, but is lonely; and later on, Milady, a young Cuban who has left Havana looking for a different world. They try to find happiness with some of the men in Santa Eulalia. Patricia meets Damián, a shy farmer who lives with her hostile mother; Marrirosi gets involved with Alfonso, a happy horticulturalist; and Milady with Carmelo, a wealthy middle-aged builder who regularly goes to Cuba as a "sexual tourist." The movie focuses on these three relationships, born out of mutual need, and the similarities and differences among the six main characters. Only one of the relationships will survive at the end.
The contrast between the highly colorful and extrovert newcomers - the flowers of the title - and the dull, dry villagers is almost extreme, and several problems soon arise from the conflict between these two groups. The movie reflects on several of these issues: immigration, culture shock, love, injustice, racism, and materialism, among others.
This is Icíar Bollaín's second film as director. She is better known for her work as an actress: more than 15 films to date, including "El sur" (1983) by Victor Erice, and "Malaventura" (1988) by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón. For her, this movie is mostly a reflection on racism and immigration. The film is inspired in a true story: the village of Plan (Huesca, Spain) organized a caravan of single women for the bachelors in 1985, after watching on television William Wellman's "Westward the Women" (1951).
Sweet and Enchanting
Ayesha | UK | 05/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I truly enjoyed this movie and chose it on the merit of the actor, Luis Tosar. I found the idea of this movie really different and the storyline was easy to relate; there have been a few communities in the past with a lack of females and the council had to advertise. I especially loved the story between Damian and Patricia. What I enjoyed most was the intricacies of the movie - the way the rest of the community react to the 'flowers' would be as expected in any small community; the bias and the racism (if not overt, subtle as it really is in the outside world) and the expectations of the 'flower' and the men cultivating them. It's a nice change from the norm...."
Good movie about a real issue
Lucero | 06/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is entertaining and informative. I first saw it on the screen during the Walter Reade Film Festival of Spanish Film several years ago and it stuck with me. The idea of "caravanas de mujeres" is not fictional and it is an interesting, albeit problematic solution to the lack of women in small isolated Spanish towns. The film depicts it dramatically, and includes the plight of two Caribbean women and the racism and difficulties they face in the attempt to assimilate into Spanish society."