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  1. Cannes Film Review: ‘The Orphanage’
  2. Why Empty Orphanages?
  3. The Orphanage (Parwareshgah) - Directors' Fortnight

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Cannes Film Review: ‘The Orphanage’

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Learn More. Strategy Our ministry began in the country of Zimbabwe as a result of two significant problems: a growing orphan crisis and an inadequate solution to that crisis. Support Pray. Trip Memories with Blog at WordPress. The movie centers on Laura Belen Rueda , who as a young girl was raised in the orphanage before being taken away one day and adopted. Now in her 30s, she has returned with her husband Carlos Fernando Cayo and their young son Simon Roger Princep to buy the orphanage and run it as a home for sick or disabled children. She has memories here, most of them happy, she believes, but as images begin to swim into her mind and even her vision, she has horrifying notions about what might have happened to the playmates she left behind on the summer day 30 years ago.

Simon, too, seems disturbed, and since no other children have arrived, he creates imaginary playmates.

Why Empty Orphanages?

One of them, a boy with a sack over his head, he shows in a drawing to his mother, who is startled because this very image exists in her own mind. Does that mean -- well, what could it mean? Or the possibility that Simon, too, is the product of her imagination? The line between reality and fantasy is so blurred in the film that it may even be, however unlikely, that Simon exists and is imagining her.

It matters not for us, because we are inside Laura's mind, no matter what. And when a decidedly sinister "social worker" Montserrat Carulla turns up, Simon learns after her visit that he is adopted and dying.

The Orphanage (Parwareshgah) - Directors' Fortnight

He apparently runs away, even though he needs daily medication. His parents spend months searching for him, putting posters everywhere, convinced he is not dead. But many children may have died at the orphanage. So, driven by a need for closure, she has persuaded her husband to buy the old orphanage where she spent the first years of her life, and to be foster-parents there to six new orphans with learning difficulties.

She discovers the spirits of unhappy children in the house.

Laura confronts the awful truth: Simon has gone away with the ghost-children of the orphanage, the contemporaries she left behind all those years ago; to get him back, she must play their game and follow their rules. The scariest things about it all, naturally, are those that are understated, just out of sight and out of reach. Some moments made me jump as if an ice-cube had been dropped down the back of my neck. The very first sequence shows a child playing a grandmother's-footsteps-type game hunched up against a tree.

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  4. The Orphanage Movie Review & Film Summary () | Roger Ebert!

Needless to say, the adult Laura finds that she must play this game in a dark room and say these words to bring the children out of the shadows. It really is creepy.