December 23, 1999

All About My Mother a Film by Almodóvar

A Greek saying states that only women who have washed their eyes with tears can see clearly. This saying does not hold true for Man-uela. The night a car ran over her son Esteban, Manuela cried until her eyes ran completely dry. Far from seeing clearly, the present and the future become mixed up in darkness.

Staring in "All About My Mother' (left) Cecilia Roth as Manuela, Rosa Maria Sardá as Rosa's Mother and Penélope Cruz as sister Rosa.

That same night, while waiting in the hospital, she reads the last lines written by her son in a notebook that he always kept by his side. "This morning I look through my mother's bedroom until I found a stack of photographs. All of them were cut in half. My father, I suppose. I have the impression that my life is missing that same half. I want to meet him, I don't care who he is, or how he treated my mother. No one can take that right away from me."

She never told Esteban who he was, "your father died long before you were born" was all she ever told him. In memory of her son, Manuela leaves Madrid and goes to Barcelona in search of his father. She want to tell him that their son's last written words were directed to him, even though he never knew his father. But first she has to tell him that, when she abandoned him eighteen years ago, she was pregnant, they had a son, and he has just died.

She must also tell him that she named their son Esteban, like his biological father, before he changed his name to Lola. Lola the Pioneer.

Manuela goes to Barcelona in search of Lola, her son's father.

The search for a man with that name cannot be simple. And indeed it isn't.

"All About My Mother" is now showing at Landmark Theatre in Hillcrest, and stars Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Penélope Cruz and Antonia San Juan.

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