CLARA SOLA (MIFF 2022) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Clara Sola maps a woman’s journey of self-knowing. From the opening moments, cinematographer Sophie Winqvist captures what is to become a steady stream of shots that focus on Clara’s hands and fingers, with a conscious emphasis on touch; not just for Clara to touch things or extend her hands towards things just out of reach, but, perhaps just as importantly, to be touched.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 1, 2022: CLARA SOLA

The powerful need for expression and agency are at the heart of Nathalie Alvarez Mesen’s debut feature Clara Sola. The film centers on a 40-year-old Costa Rican woman named Clara (a mesmerizing Wendy Chinchilla Araya), whose deep connection to nature and animals seems to include the mystical ability to heal — but whose body and soul are constantly repressed, particularly by her devout mother, Fresia (Flor María Vargas Chavez). When Clara dares to test those constraints, the consequences are volatile.

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CLARA SOLA – Review by Pam Grady

At age 40, Clara (beautifully portrayed by Wendy Chinchilla Araya) lives in an almost childlike state, trapped there by her mother, Fresia (Flor Maria Vargas Chavez), who so dominates her daughter’ life that she won’t even allow Clara the spinal surgery that would relieve her of lifelong pain.

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