|Cinergía Movie File:
Cría cuervos (Raise Ravens)
Dirigido por Carlos Suara, 1976
File Created by:
Jennifer Penry- Pre-screening
Edwin Úbeda- Comprehension and Criticism
Deanna Kohrs- Media Analysis
Scroll down or Click on any section to jump ahead:
Section 1: Pre-screening
Section 2: Comprehension and Criticism
Section 3: Media Analysis
Section 1: Pre-screening
Note: Given the transitory nature of internet resources we suggest conducting a search to help answer the pre-screening questions. Only a few links are included below.
Information about the Spanish Civil War and Post-war Period:
La Guerra Civil Española. (The Spanish Civil War) This site, in Spanish, gives a brief summary of the Spanish Civil War and includes links to sites with more detailed information about related topics. The information on this page is centered on The Republic, The Civil War, and other miscellaneous topics. Perhaps even more important is the site’s anticipated addition of a section about Women and the Civil War.
About censorship during the Franco-dictatorship: The effects of censorship This site by Jeroen Oskam during personal research is about the cultural history of Spain and incorporates the following topics: About censorship, Camilo José Cela , About the alleged «liberal» orientation of the Spanish Catholic Church During the First Years of the Franco Dictatorship, About «left-wing» falangism in Spain. Some of the research is available in both English and Spanish.
Review of Spanish history.
Links to Women and Feminism in Spain:
El aprendizaje del feminismo histórico en España by Mary Nash. This site is in Spanish. It includes topics similar to those addressed in her book from 1995, Defying Male Civilization: Women in the Spanish Civil War. The divisions of the site are the following: El feminismo histórico como movimiento social; El aprendizaje del feminismo: cultura política y desarrollo del movimiento de las mujeres: Identidad de género y la formulación del feminismo; Itinerarios y experiencia como aprendizaje social Feminismos e itinerarios de movilización de las mujeres; Repensando los feminismos. This is a good representation of the life of the Spanish woman during the evolution of feminism in Spain. It will help the viewer by providing several perspectives on the Spanish women represented in the movie, from the new generation to the older ones.
Una mirada sobre los sucesivos feminismos by María Salas. This article is also a part of the “Mujeres en Red” website. It is written in Spanish and addresses the following themes of feminism: Las Precursoras, El Sufragismo, Sufragismo en Inglaterra, Feminismo en España, La Segunda Ola del Feminismo, Movimiento de Liberación de la Mujer, Feminismo Radical, Feminismo de la Diferencia, La Segunda Ola del Feminismo en España, Antecedentes, El «Boom» de los Años Setenta, Las Reformas Legales, El Feminismo Después de los Años Ochenta, Grupos Pequeños y Diversidad de Objetivos / Fomento de la Investigación Universitaria, Recuperación de la Propia Historia, y Feminismo Institucional. The information given about the beginnings of feminism and feminism in England can help build a foundation of knowledge about feminism so that it can be applied to the context of Spain.
Historia de la Mujer en España. The introduction given on the page provides explanation for its existence and the identity of its creators: Esta web ha sido realizada por los alumnos de 2º de Bachillerato del IES Parque de Lisboa durante el curso académico 2000-2001. Se ha llevado a cabo como una actividad de la asignatura de Historia de España (profesor: Juan Carlos Ocaña), en el marco del Proyecto Educativo Europeo "Hombres y Mujeres en la Sociedad Europea Actúal" en la que participa nuestro centro. En diferentes trabajos hemos tratado de reflejar la enorme transformación que ha experimentado la condición de las mujeres durante el siglo XX en nuestro país. The sections are entitled: La Mujer a Finales del S. XIX y principios del XX; La Mujer en la Segunda República; La Mujer en la Guerra Civil; La Mujer en el Franquismo, La Mujer en la Transición, La Mujer en el Trabajo del S. XX, Filmografía, y Gráficos.
Feminist Discourse and Spanish Cinema: Sight Unseen by Roberta Johnson. This English language page gives a good summary of the book by Martín-Márquez and includes a review written by Kathleen M. Vernon. Even though this site does not have the actual information given in the text, the summary itself provides enough information for the individual who is not up-to-date on the politics of feminism and the representation of feminist views in movies.
Mujeres Libres. In this site, one finds the author’s notes on a conference she gave in July of 1995. She provides information about the beginnings of the feminist magazine Mujeres Libres, what types of articles it included, the feminist principles represented in it, the work of Spanish women in the War, the reaction of the Anarchist movement to feminist tendencies and a conclusion. She provides a valuable link to her own site about Anarchism & Women’s as well. She gives a picture of feminism that can help the audience of Cría Cuervos to interpret the roles of the different women in the movie.
Internet Movie Database entry for Cría Cuervos This site has basic information about the movie: The director, the actors, the date of production, etc. It also includes a brief plot summary and a review.
Section 2: Comprehension and Criticism
Part I. Comprehension Questions:
following quotes provide information to facilitate a historical and feminist
critique of the film.
The quotes are from the following texts:
Nash, Mary. Defying male civilization: Women in the Spanish Civil War. Arden Press, Inc. 1995.
Esenwein, George and Shubert Adrian. Spain at War. New York: Pearson Education, Inc. 1995.
3: Media analysis
Hidden in the darkness
Dressed in white as an innocent young girl, Ana ironically deceives the spectator in this closed frame medium still that begins the movie Cría cuervos. The chiaroscuro lighting reveals the psychological division of this protagonist, because while she is an innocent child born under Franco, Ana also wants to destroy the patriarchal system. The key light radiates from the left side at the same level of Ana, illuminating half of her face while the dark background accentuates her desire to hide as if a criminal. This scene inverts the Freudian Oedipal scene, because Ana believes she is killing her father with poisoned milk. Instead of permitting the continuation of the adulterous cycle that degrades and harms women, Ana wants to subvert her nationalist father’s sexuality.
Both of these medium shot, closed-frame stills reflect similar scenes. Both depict a nationalist, adulterous man and a mistreated women, yet while Ana innocently observes her mother questioning her husband about his infidelity in the still to the right, she ironically plays her mother’s role in the reenactment of the situation with her sisters. Cinematographically, both stills utilize a triangular position of the main characters in deep focus, yet while “The role-play” employs natural lighting that enters from the two windows, there is an overhead light in the fantastic scene of “The confrontation” that highlights the position of Ana as a quiet observer while her parents remain in shadow with illuminated profiles.
The shot of the role-play foreshadows “The confrontation” and alludes to the fact that the girls are aware of the marital discord in the family. Also, while Maite and Ana utilize different names and parts (those of Rosa and Amelia) in the reenactment, it’s interesting how Ana wears an outfit similar to her mother’s and seems to play this part instead of that of Amelia. Also, Maite is positioned in the middle of the frame just as Ana is in the second still (as if playing Ana instead of the maid Rosa), and like Ana, looks toward the mother as if pendent of her reactions. In addition, the menacing pose of Anselmo in the right frame contrasts with the part Irene plays of her father while seated. It also is important to point out that Ana plays a stronger and more confident part in the reenactment when she doesn’t want to be quiet and submissive upon saying, “I don’t feel like it….,” in comparison with her sick mom who aguishly expresses “I want to die…” While Ana’s mom didn’t find any other solution to resist the patriarchal system but her desire to die, the sister’s role-play depicts the possibility of subverting the vicious cycle of infidelity in the future, or of repeating the same errors.
|Ana and her mom. The intimate relationship between Ana and her mom is unquestionable in the well lit still in which the two are positioned very close to one another while looking out at the spectator. Both have the identical facial expression and hairstyle, and are wearing a similar blue, tranquil colored outfit. It is as if the mother and daughter form a double image, which alludes to the fact that Geraldine Chaplin also plays the part of adult Ana in addition to the compassionate mom in the film. The still represents Ana’s fantasy of imagining her dead mother in the bathroom fixing her hair and giving her kisses before her nationalist father’s funeral. The strong lighting accentuates this illusion due to the various light sources. While the natural backlight enters through the window, the key light is positioned directly on the faces of the two protagonists, stressing the strong bond that they share. In addition, a lateral light originates from the right of Ana, casting a shadow on her mother’s face and accentuating this sentimental fantasy.|
and Aunt Paulina. While
there is a lot of compassion shared between Ana and her mother in the first
still, the shot of Ana and Paulina represents the rejected relationship
between the nationalist aunt and daring niece. The chiaroscuro, low shot
lighting radiates from the left and symbolizes the conflict between the two
characters. Only their faces are illuminated during this confrontation.
Similar to the still of Ana and her mom, they are wearing similar clothing,
and shown in deep focus in a shot level with their gazes. Yet contrary to
the first serene scene, the color red alludes to violence and symbolizes the
fact that Ana is attempting to poison her aunt whom she sees as a accomplice
in the patriarchal cycle. The distanced position of the two in the closed
frame also contrasts with that of the mother and daughter. Instead of
looking toward Ana, Aunt Paulina looks down, symbolizing the complete lack
of communication. In addition, Ana’s shadowed face differentiates from her
innocent face in the first frame, and refers to her desire to destroy the
nationalist system that she inherited under Franco and now has the chance to
This closed frame shot depicts the moment when Ana’s mom plays her favorite song so as to lull her to sleep. The key light enters the frame from a slightly elevated point to the right of Ana, and illuminates the two protagonists in deep focus. Ana is brightly lit, accentuating her innocence while dressed in a symbolic white nightgown. The strong chiaroscuro light also symbolizes her ability to fantasize these tender moments shared with her mother, which draws attention to the intimate mother – daughter relationship. Another clue that reveals this dreamt fantasy is the fact the mother is dressed in the same blue outfit that she always wears in Ana’s dreams.
In addition to depicting the close relationship between Ana and her mom, the low angle shot accentuates the importance of Maria playing the piano because it depicts her renounced profession as a pianist. Instead of developing her independent talents, Ana’s mom conformed to the demands of the patriarchal society upon marrying and becoming the perfect, ideal wife that the Catholic Church promoted.
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