Customers at the local butcher shop debate the mysterious circumstances under which Frida’s (Laia Artigas) parents died, never once stopping to consider the feelings of the little girl standing waist-high in their presence. After all, Frida’s a kid. She won’t understand, right? Nor can anyone comprehend how a child that’s been transplanted to her aunt and uncle’s idyllic surroundings can remain this unhappy. (“Who is living in my house?” she asks.) Her psychologically forward-thinking new family works hard to make the transition as easy as possible, but try as they might to maintain a forward momentum, Frida can’t face the present without first coming to terms with the recent past. Not since Boyhood has a film shown this much respect and understanding for what it’s like to be a child. And talk about a timely release. Those who might have forgotten what childhood was like — particularly a President willing to exploit young lives in exchange for a wall — would do well to carefully consider director Carla Simón’s strikingly well-told tale. (2017) — Scott Marks
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