Take My Eyes

Director: Icíar Bollaín
Screenwriters: Icíar Bollaín, Alicia Luna

Institute History

  • 2004 Sundance Film Festival


In her third feature, Icíar Bollaín emerges as one of Spain's most gifted social-realist directors, here taking on a provocative topic only now being addressed in Spain. Combining melodrama with thriller, Bollaín tells a gripping story of domestic abuse without resorting to conventions like overt physical violence or wholesale demonization of the perpetrator. Instead, she plumbs the rich psychology of characters, revealing the perverse interdependence between a husband and wife and the intricate ways both are trapped in a private hell.

The terrifying opening scene, where a young wife, Pilar, seeks refuge from her fuming, sinister husband, Antonio, sets the tone. Even as Antonio attends an all-male therapy group, danger lurks beneath the surface as he struggles to check his anger. At first, Pilar clings to her old life, hoping to reclaim her marriage. But as she starts to find herself through her first job in years, she also begins to distinguish between love and pain, between protection and fear. Laia Marull and Luis Tosar eminently deserve the best actor awards they garnered at this year's San Sebastian Film Festival. Tosar's Antonio is both fragile and monstrous as a control freak with heartbreakingly low self-esteem. Marull's Pilar is quietly powerful and agonizingly terrorized as the '50s-style wife muted and bound by duty.

— Caroline Libresco

Screening Details

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