El Pastor

El Pastor

Jonathan Cenzual Burley (2016)

94min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Building on the offbeat impression forged by previous films The Soul of Flies (2011) and The Year and the Vineyard (2013), director Jonathan Cenzual Burley adopts a more sombre tone in this outsider study that relocates a classic western scenario to post-recession Spain. Fifty-something Anselmo (Miguel Martin) is content with his lot as a shepherd on the Salamanca plain and shares the shack where he was born with his loyal dog, Pillo. But abattoir owner Julián (Alfonso Mendiguchia) and his henpecked neighbour Paco (Juan Luis Sara) are desperate for Anselmo to cut a deal with a big-city property developer so that they can clear their debts. The standoff simmers with a reassuring uneventfulness that makes the sudden descent into dénouement melodrama all the more disappointing. But Cenzual Burley (who acts as cinematographer, too) has a fine eye and a Renoir-esque compassion for his often quixotic protagonists. Moreover, he also coaxes a compelling performance out of Martin, whose unassuming hero just wants to be left alone to enjoy a quiet drink in the local bar and read the books borrowed from an admiring librarian (Maribel Iglesias).

Cast & Crew

Anselmo Miguel Martin
Julián Alfonso Mendiguchia
Paco Juan Luis Sara
Concha Maribel Iglesias
Quique Carlos San Jorge
Ignacio Jaime Santos
Manoli Maite Iglesias
Pablo, Guardia Civil Pablo Malaga
Director Jonathan Cenzual Burley
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Other Information

Language: Spanish +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Matchbox FilmsGuidance: Violence, swearingAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 2 Jun 2017