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Carla is 14 years old and a defiant and rebellious young woman. She lives in an old roadside restaurant on the outskirts of a town with her young single mother while she skips class and spends the hours with her friend Efraín. When the social worker realizes that she is five months pregnant, Carla enters ‘La Maternal’, a center for underage mothers where she shares her daily life with other young women like her. Together with their babies, they will face this new world of adults for which they did not have time to prepare.
In this sense, La maternal is a film which depicts an intense reality. In order to achieve this, Palomero consulted with various girls who had found themselves in this situation personally and then positioned them in front of the cameras, awarding them a secondary part in the plot: but it’s this excessive faith in the veracity of these girls’ accounts which wrecks the film, its pace running aground in a couple of scenes where the girls speak in front of the camera about their maternal and sentimental experiences. Palomero pulls no punches in showing the vulnerability and hardships that come with raising a child while still being one yourself. These documentarian moments slow down a work of fiction which actually reaches great peaks of emotion when images are prioritised over dialogue.
“Each new sequence is a discovery that, from the shadows, reveals abysses, warns of dangers, and announces the possibility of a new path.”
Festivals & Awards Winner:
Premiere Berlinale Competition 2023 • Premiere Málaga Film festival 2023