Family mirrors

Article published on Nov. 18, 2008
community published
Article published on Nov. 18, 2008
Katia’s sister In the relationship between brothers, some roles are played in which often the younger sets his/her mirror on the older. In the case of Lucía, the protagonist of the film, her love for her sister Katia is even stronger than her love for herself; in fact, along the whole story, whenever Lucía presents herself, she won’t mention her own name, but say "I'm Katia's sister".
Lucía is a girl not older than 12, good, responsible, quiet to the point of autism: the aim is not to disturb in a home where the fights are very common. The younger, far from being attended, is the one who attends her prostitute mother and her sister; despite her young age, she knows from cleaning the kitchen perfectly to preparing the coffee flavoured with whisky, that her mother likes when she comes back after her streetwalking. Dutch director Mijke de Jong uses the camera on the shoulder and the foreshortened figure-tracking of the little protagonist to wander around an Ámsterdam marked by prostitution and visionary preachers, tourists and immigrant grandmothers. Sometimes, in its wandering foreshortened figure of the protagonist, it reminds us, esencially, of American director Gus Van Sant’s camera, in his work Elephant. The casting of the film is also outstanding, and reinforces the idea of the possible cause of mirror between brothers, since while Katia is a 17-year-old girl, blonde, voluptuous and pretty, Lucía is a 12-year-old teenager, chubby, with glasses and illegitimate; the mother doesn’t know who Lucía’s father is, but she does know Katia’s father’s name, who was the love of her life. Maybe Lucía´s every gesture of attention, cleaning and excessively mature care she gives her family is to clear, almost unconsciously, that she is the “ugly duckling,” the non-prodigal daughter. Consequently, Director Jong discerns that we are marked by the invisible ins and outs of the family, which occurred even long before our birth. However, even though the film Katia´s Sister created an almost endless line at the Seville European Film Festival, so endless were the comments uttered after the viewing, some of them not very good. Like or not, at least it is a proposal.

katia_little_sister.jpgPaola García Costas

Translated by

Diana Irene Arancibia