• Golden Globe Awards

The Sea Beyond (Spain)

Ernesto (Ernesto Alterio), an eccentric and nonconformist theater director who is already going through a bad period in his personal life, receives the news of his mother´s death. A short while ago, his mother (Magüi Mira) had informed him that when she died, she wished to be buried at sea, on the shores of her hometown, Altea. Now, on his way to the cemetery, he faces the challenge of fulfilling her last wishes.  He plans to steal the body from the coffin in order to throw it into the ocean: with his mother´s corpse in the trunk of the car, and accompanied by his daughter Cloe (Gala Aymach), who decides to go with him although she is fed up with his lunatic behavior, and his mother´s dog, Bonnie, he embarks on a wild adventure – much to the dismay of his brother Max, who is forced to inform the authorities of their late mother´s abduction. Along the journey, Cloe hopes to be able to change her father´s mind, but eventually she discovers that her father is not the madman that she thought he was.
Achero Mañas, who started off as an actor before turning to directing movies as bold and relevant as El Bola (2000) and Noviembre (2003), returns to the director´s chair after ten years of silence, to talk about an experience that he had in real life. “The request of my mother (the Spanish actress Amyach Paredes, who is still alive) and the loss of a loved one inspired me to make this movie,” explained the Spanish director during the presentation of the film at the Malaga Film Festival. Although he initially thought his mother’s eccentric decision was made as a joke, he soon learned that she was serious, setting him off to investigate how, when the time comes, he could fulfill her wish without going to jail.
Underlying the plot, Mañas deals in his film with the importance of uniqueness, emphasizing that what distinguishes us from others is our own individual essence. With both as versatile and experienced an actor as Ernesto Alterio and newcomer Gala Amyach (who happens to be his own daughter), the director manages, to imbue each character with a fragility that shows itself in the doubts they have about carrying out their plan. This trip that father and daughter take through side roads while deciding to leave (or not to leave) Grandma´s corpse in the middle of the sea, will also turn into a journey of self-discovery, self-acceptance and mutual acknowledgment. “Their relationship also gives way to a reflection on the education we receive, the role that parents play and the importance of transmitting to the next generations, not only our knowledge but also the values that make our own personality”, reflects the director.  “Ernesto is what he is because of his mother, and Cloe, in her own way, will become what she has witnessed in her own parents,” he adds.