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TIFF 2021: “The Daughter”


Rating: 4 out of 5.

The younger generation from poor families and juveniles are more at risk of giving up their unborn child for adoption or even worse – getting an abortion. However, there are couples willing to spend a fortune to keep the young pregnant woman, provide shelter, food and all other necessities, including money, to keep the child in the end. The plan is ideal. But what if the mother changes her mind?

Irene (Irene Virguez) is 15 years old and living in a center for juvenile offenders. Her situation gets complicated when she gets pregnant with her boyfriend, Osman, who happens to be in prison. But then, her tutor Javier (Javier Gutierrez) offers Irene an excellent plan by moving to the mountains to live with his wife Adela (Patricia López Arnaiz). He promises her the best life possible, including money, with one condition – she must give up the child to him. Irene first gives her consent, but once she realizes the power of motherhood and the life growing inside her, she changes her mind.

What started as an innocent and very moving story about a girl that must make an important decision, turns into a Hitchcockian suspenseful thriller with a premise you won’t see coming. With “The Daughter”, director Manuel Martin Cuenca creates a nail-biting atmosphere you would not want to miss. He challenges the desire to become a mother for two women, and a man, who must do everything to fulfil his promise. The battle will begin. Irene will be alone. She will have to face the threat coming her way, including the possible loss of life. But she knows the girl she is expecting would not expect from her mother anything less than a desperate fight, and trust me, Irene won’t back off.

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