Cria! (1974): Carlos Saura Haunting Child Tale

Cria! (also known as Raise Raven) is a remarkable Spanish film about a girl haunted by past memories of her dead parents.

“Cria” records the memories, hallucinations, and perceptions of 8-year-old Anna, as they are recalled by her as an adult woman.  In fact, the grow-up Anna occasionally appears in the film to reflect to the camera on her infancy, especially the one crucial summer she spent in Madrid in 1975.

Ana’s family is located in the traditional, conservative middle-classes, the main supporters of Francos dictatorial regime.

Directed by Carlos Saura, Cria draws analogies between its story and the broader political context, the last years of Franco’s regime.  In 1974, when the film was conceived and shot, Franco was still alive, but “Francoism” as an ideology was dead.

Ana’s struggle to be an independent human being is ultimately muddled, murderous and doomed in a society that has no use for individuality and freedom.  Rarely have repression and oppression, in all their manifestations and consequences, been so well portrayed on the screen.

 About Carlos Saura                    

Carlos Saura was born in Spain in 1932 and began his career as a professional photographer at the age of 18.  He made his feature debut in 1955, at the age of 23, but established an international reputation in the 1970s with Cria and, of course, the smash-hit flamenco film, Carmen (1983).

Spanish Drama 

Running Time: 100 minutes