It takes an entire village to raise a child. The shared responsibility is what gives children sense of direction, responsibility and belonging. It is clear that some of these demands cannot be provided by the parents alone. Teachers, relatives and mentors are considered custodians of the community. Gracia Querejeta’s brings out community loss on a rebellious and disrespectful child in the 15 años y un día (15 Years +1 Day) film (Querejeta).
Margo (Maribel Verdú), an aspiring actress and affluent homemaker is unable to understand his son’s misbehavior. Jon (Arón Piper) is a 14 years old troubleshooter, who is constantly in trouble with the authorities. Jon is first expelled from school after pulling dirty pranks on his teachers and later he poisons a neighbor’s dog. After failed attempt to handle the child, Jon’s mother sends him to Max (Tito Valverde), the grandfather in a remote coastal setting (Naughten 1).
15 años y un día’s plot is drawn in a natural Spanish society. Jon’s character is influence by his society. While with Max, he comes across bad groups, which further influences his decisions. He meets Nelson (Pau Poch), an Ecuadorian and a leader of a gang. The gang constantly plunders their residence for a living. Jon also meets some mentors such as Elsa (Sfía Mohamed) and Toni (Boris Cucalón) but his contact with them is limited by his engagement in nefarious activities (Naughten 1). The tough relationship between Jon and Toni with a fight. Nelson fights Toni against controlling Jon, a boy dies while Jon is left in a coma in the course.
15 años y un día brings out a complex relationship between children and parents. Valverde emotional instability forces him to live in seclusion. His poor relationship with Jon evokes the question on who should play a bigger role in molding a child, whether it is the community or the parents. Through Jon, it becomes logical to argue that at times it is better to leave children learn the hard way. Mago is regretful on Jon’s status but burry herself in her seasonal performance (Querejeta). She uses her plays to absorb her daily pains and miseries brought about by his child and her past.
Pedro Almodvar’s succinctly draws a dysfunctional Spanish society. He employs practical examples in Spanish community, which draws any witness from the world of fiction to factual setting. Juvenile delinquency is common in most parts of Spain. Jon’s encounters in addition, evokes the question of communal role in raising children. The role of institutions such as school, neighbors and relatives in raising children becomes a debatable issue. Additionally, the importance of family unit is also displayed in the film. It can be argued that Jon’s character could have been reshaped by strong parental control rather than by his grandfather (Querejeta).
Pedro Almodvar’s 15 años y un día filmis entertaining, educative and an important societal reflection tool. The film is less stylized but full of themes surrounding societal challenges. Querejeta's writing portrays a lot of high intellectual capacity. His use of comedic tone in dialogues effectively illustrates his wittiness. He directs a film with a male protagonist but portrays a lot of female point of view. The film blends constant European family feuds. Each character reflects his or her parents’ idiosyncrasies, achievement and prejudices. Querejeta ensure each character’s family is effectively drawn to allow the audience has a deeper insight into the film.
Naughten, Rebecca. 15 Years And One Day. Eye for Film.214. From: http://www.eyeforfilm.co.uk/review/15-years-and-one-day-2013-film-review-by-rebecca- naughten
Querejeta, Gracia. 15 años y un día. Film. 2014.