‘Five little wolves’: parents of our parents and children


Alauda Ruiz de Azúa’s feature debut arrives in cinemas, which flooded the Malaga festival with its sensitive take on motherhood and the weight of family heritage

We are parents to our children and, at a certain age, parents to our parents as well. Three weeks after ‘Alcarràs’, still at number two at the box office, surpassed only by Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’, comes ‘Cinco lobitos’, another testament to the power of feminine gazes in our cinematography. The feature debut by Alauda Ruiz de Azúa (Barakaldo, 1978) explores themes such as motherhood, illness and the burden of family inheritance in a moving and sensitive way. The film won the last Malaga Festival, where it won the Biznaga de Oro for best Spanish film, the Biznaga de Plata for best screenplay, the acting prize ex-aequo for Laia Costa and Susi Sánchez and the Audience Award. In addition to the official list of winners, he also won the Feroz Award from film reporters.

Laia Costa plays a new mother, still sore with her stitches, who is overcome by the challenges of caring for a newborn. Her boyfriend (Mikel Bustamante) is a theater technician who goes on tour, leaving her alone with little Jone; is what it should be autonomous. The protagonist makes the decision to leave Madrid and return to the beautiful coastal town of Bizkaia where she comes from. Little does she know that in addition to changing diapers, she will also have to take care of parents dealing with the disease.

“I wrote and directed ‘Cinco lobitos’ under the assumption that we are two-way children,” said Alauda Ruiz de Azúa, who recorded the romantic comedy ‘Eres tú’ for Netflix after the film’s success. “Six years ago I was a mother of a boy. My motherhood changed many things in my life, including the way I looked at my parents. I had become a mother and they had become grandparents. More than an idyllic event, motherhood seemed like a meteorite that destroyed everything and ensured that family relationships would never be the same. My family had become different. One of those essential changes that cannot be reversed. Because when we’re parents, we feel like we’re growing up.

One of the merits of ‘Cinco lobitos’ is the tone, which, as in life itself, moves from comedy to drama in the same scene. Alauda Ruiz de Azúa’s gaze is always attentive to details and bets on suggestion rather than sentimental underlining. The protagonists are Basque, they are not used to expressing or articulate their emotions, and that coldness is very useful for a film that touches on many issues under its apparent lightness: the Spain of insecurity, palliative care, the renunciation of women of professional dreams for motherhood, the machismo of previous generations…

“As a filmmaker, I love that magic where the viewer becomes an invisible witness to other people’s lives,” explains this admirer of Yasujiro Ozu and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s cinema. “I wanted things to happen on an emotional level, even if they were disguised as mundane. We worked a lot with the actors to capture that in a discreet way and that the viewer felt in that house, in a privileged place.

It’s surprising that a novice director should be given interpretations as profound as those of Laia Costa, perfect as an overwhelmed mother, and veterans Susi Sánchez (with a Basque accent) and Ramón Barea. Alauda Ruiz de Azúa does not judge her characters, but observes them with tenderness, without pointing out villains or victims. ‘Cinco lobitos’ shows that when we are parents, for better or for worse, we influence our children forever. “You can have the fantasy that you are different from your parents, that you can escape that,” warns the director. “But the time will come when you realize you’re like them.”

Source: La Verdad


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