Las Meninas


Release Date: January 25, 2008

Status: Released

Running time: 1h 39m


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This film is about what the routine of everyday life can do to the human mind and psyche. It also reflects on the importance of the choices we make and how limited these choices are in the first place. The plot evolves around a family of four. They live in the suburbs, in a strange villa that appears, through a complex game of mirrors, to be more like a piece of installation art than a real house. The main character, who hardly appears on screen, is the son, a man in his thirties. Suffering from asthma and eczema since childhood, he uses his condition to manipulate his parents and his sister. Thus the existence of the terrorized family turns into an endless ritual of attempting to satisfy his whims, and always on the alert for yet another one of his “health crises”. Las Meninas resembles the scattered pieces of a puzzle. It is up to the viewer to assemble them in order to form his very own picture – something that makes the film itself personal and unique.

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Las Meninas (Spanish for The Maids of Honour) is a 2008 Ukrainian film directed by Ihor Podolchak. Its title alludes to the well-known painting by Diego Velázquez, Las Meninas. Ihor Podolchak was the producer, screenwriter, and director of this film. Las Meninas was produced by MF Films (a subdivision of Masoch Fund). It was the first Ukrainian film to participate in the Tiger Awards Competition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam. As of the beginning of 2011, the film has participated in 27 international film festivals, including 10 competition programs. In 2011, it was included in Top 15 Best Ukrainian films of the 20 years' Independence period. …Podolchak's film, alongside Majewski's and Bartas's work, appears to be a perfect example for a cinematic or post-cinematic "dream of a gesture" (Agamben 1993, 139) transporting the viewer into a visibly subjective and surreal universe of enigmatic pictures….
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