Rosa the Beautiful
Barrabás came to us by sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy. She was already in the habit of writingdown important matters, and afterwards, when she was mute, recording trivialities became very important. She never suspected that fifty years later I would use her notebooks to reclaim the past andovercome terrors of my own. Barrabás arrived on a Holy Thursday. He was in a despicable cage, dirty with his own excrement and urine, and had the lost look of a defenceless prisoner; but the regal carriageof his head and the size of his frame bespoke the legendary giant he would become. It was a bland, autumnal day that gave no hint of the events that the child would record, which took place duringthe noon mass in the parish of San Sebastian, with her whole family in attendance. As a sing of mourning, the statues of the saints were covered in purple robes that the pious ladies of the congregationunpacked and dusted off once a year from a cupboard in the sacristy. Beneath these funereal sheets the celestial retinue resembled nothing so much as a roomful of furniture awaiting movers, animpression that the candles, the incense, and the soft means of the organ were powerless to counteract.
° The movie is a an adaptation of the book with the same title by Isabel Allende, one of the bestSouth American authors (she was called Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s heir). The movie features Jeremy Irons and Glenn Close (in their good days) Meryl Streep (who does not have bad days, movie-wise, atleast), Wynona Rydre and Antonio Banderas, and presents the story of a family, as it stretches over four generations, with the good, the bad, the funny, and at times, the surreal. It is, in my opinion, afairly good movie, made after a fabulous book. Filming took place in Denmark and Portugal and the European setting takes away from the sweeping Latin American landscapes, the majestic Andes and the...