The protagonist of the story is Anina Yatay Salas, a grade-school aged girl who finds her palindromic name a burden. It’s an element of a schoolyard spat that escalates into a fight, which leaves Anina waiting to find out what punishment will be handed down by the her school’s formidable headmistress.
The story hinges on a child’s anxieties and schoolyard dramas, which, while amusing to us, are of course of great moment to Anina and her peers. The sequences in which Anina dreams the baroque horrors that might befall her—products of a vivid imagination—are some of the best, and very creatively rendered.
The voice casting was very good and got the emotional tenor just right. (The dialog is in Spanish, with English subtitles.) The film also has a beautiful soundtrack.
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