Spain 2023
Galician, subtitles in English
99 min
Suitable for audiences aged 12 and above
Director: Álvaro Gago Díaz
Screenplay: Álvaro Gago Díaz
Cast: María Vazquez, Santi Prego, Soraya Luaces
Production: Daniel Froiz, María Zamora, Stefan Schmitz, Mireia Graell Vivancos / Matriuska Producciones, Avalon P.C., Elastica Films, Ringo Media
Print Source: New Europe Film Sales

Now here comes another film where anxiety drips from every frame straight onto your lap. A movie where watching a normal woman simply trying to make ends meet quickens your pulse. It’s hard to say why, as Álvaro Gago shows a pretty ordinary existence in his Berlinale Panorama offering Matria. But this constant struggle, the constant fear of running out of time and money, is so relatable that with another soundtrack, it would just read like a pure thriller.

Some of it comes down to cinematographer Lucía C Pan, practically running after Matria’s heroine. She has not a minute to waste, no time to herself – and predictably, nobody really notices. Living in a Galician fishing village and juggling multiple gigs, she is still not financially secure – far from it.

Marta Balaga / Cineuropa