I have, elsewhere, discussed the delicate relationship between mothers and daughters. There is so much to say about it. I think the clip below from Volver (directed by Almodovar, 2006) captures an exquisite, sensitive moment of this relation. It is a touching scene in which Raimunda’s mother “comes back from the dead” to see her after twenty years. Raimunda is played by Penelope Cruz and she does a beautiful job lip-synching singer Estrella Morente in the song Volver. “Volver” means to return. And return is exactly  what is at stake here. Returns are such meaningful moments, loaded with the pain of separation but also brimming with hope and love.

Notice that red dominates the scene. Raimunda, her daughter, and her mother wear red, signaling their visceral relation. It is indeed a relation of blood. If the  movie had to be one color, it would certainly be red. Red is the color of strength and passion.  It will not only be present in the crimson lipsticks that color those strong females’ lips but it will also paradoxically illustrate death and announce life.  There is a scene when Raimunda had just killed her husband and her hands are stained with blood.  A neighbor rings the bell and when he asks about the blood in her hands, Raimunda replies without batting an eyelash, “It’s women’s stuff”. I thought this was brilliant.

Volver (Carlos Gardel)

Tengo miedo del encuentro
con el pasado que vuelve
a enfrentarse con mi vida.

Tengo miedo de las noches
que pobladas de recuerdos
encadenen mi soñar.

Pero el viajero que huye
tarde o temprano
detiene su andar.

Y aunque el olvido
que todo destruye
haya matado mi vieja ilusión,

guardo escondida
una esperanza humilde
que es toda la fortuna
de mi corazón.

con la frente marchita
las nieves del tiempo
platearon mi sien.

que es un soplo la vida
que veinte años no es nada
que febril la mirada
errante en las sombras
te busca y te nombra.

con el alma aferrada
a un dulce recuerdo
que lloro otra vez.


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