Review: The Illiterate (Las Analfabetas) (2013)



The Spanish Film Festival recently wrapped up all over the country and Kathie has two more reviews to share with you.

Check out her other reviews from the festival here: Family United (La gran familia española), Three Many Weddings (Tres bodas de más) and Living is Easy with Eyes Closed (Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados).

Reviewed by Kathie.

With overtones of ‘Educating Rita’ which also began as a play dealing with the limitations of traditional education and the nature of personal growth,the Chilean film, ‘The Illiterate’, provides another great role for Paulina Garcia who shone in ‘Gloria’ last year winning herself a big following around the world. This time Garcia plays Ximena, prickly, defensive, complex and extremely wary of anyone who attempts an assault on her illiteracy, of which she is deeply ashamed, though in denial. Buried deep within and covered with emotional callouses is the germ of a very potent motivator which Jackeline, the recently-graduated, passionate young teacher, stumbles on quite accidentally.

As with ‘Educating Rita’, ‘The Illiterate’ has at its core the theme of empowerment through education based on the equality and honesty of both parties to the teaching/learning contract. We are left in no doubt about the size of the learning impediment suffered by a person who arrives at adulthood without the skill of literacy. It is only Jackeline’s passion for her profession that enables her to survive the challenges thrown up by Ximena’s intractable resistance.   Forced finally to abandon her preconceived ideas about teaching someone to read and write, Jackeline reaps the rewards of a more authentic engagement with the teaching/learning process.