SSIFF 2023: UN AMOR from Isabel Coixet

Andreas zieht Nat an sich heran, um sie zu k├╝ssen

Maybe it is an inner resistance that will make UN AMOR interesting. I am not sure yet. For my part, I don't want to believe in the love between young Nat and the much older, beefy and hairy Andreas, whom everyone just calls "El Aleman". But the story works and there is a tension from it.

Nat (Laia Costa) moves to the countryside because she can no longer cope emotionally with her work as a translator of the cruel experiences of refugee women. Only after moving into a country house does she realise what a dump she has rented. It rains through and she can barely manage to carry the water out. Nat has no money for repairs. When her neighbour Andreas (Hovik Keuchkerian) offers to repair the roof in exchange for sleeping with her, she initially refuses, but later accepts his offer.

When it does happen, the depiction of the act is hard to bear. Even if Nat lets it pass almost impassively, it is an act of violent appropriation and the sexual exploitation of an economic emergency. The fact that Nat then also falls in love with "El Aleman" is perhaps even harder to accept.

On the other hand, not only Nat and Andreas but also the secondary characters are psychologically very well met. Therefore, it is not incomprehensible when at the press conference Isabel Coixet defends her main character Andreas as one of the good guys, while the evil is rather to be found on the side of the neighbouring couple with children (Ingrid Garcia Jonsson and Francesco Carril) and the wannabe artist Peter (Hugo Silva). Unlike them, Andreas is very honest in everything he does.

Isabel Coixet
Isabel Coixet at the press conference of the San Sebastian International Filmfestival 2023

A German song has an important role in the final scene. Why this song is not subtitled, despite the importance of the lyrics for the interpretation of the entire film, remains a secret of the director, because shortly before I want to ask the question, the press conference ends.