The Red Squirrel (1993)

Directed by
One of the films that got me interested in cinema
Reviewed by Simon on 2022-02-16

A man is contemplating suicide when he witnesses a motorbike crash and rushes to offer assistance. The rider wakes up not knowing who or where she is, so when the medics assume they are together he decides not to disillusion them. As soon as she gets out of hospital, he takes her on a camping trip and starts to spin an ever more detailed fiction about their life together.

I saw THE RED SQUIRREL in the late 90's and it was one of the films that got me interested in cinema - I never cared much for the mainstream Hollywood stuff that dominated the airwaves and popular discourse, but offbeat international oddities like this gave me a glimpse into a different world, one that was more like the novels that had been my preferred form of fiction since I was young.

I hadn't seen it again since (probably, I can't trust my memory on things like this!) but always remembered it fondly so I had high hopes going into the rewatch. Having seen thousands of films since it's by no means guaranteed that films which impressed me then will hold up now, but happily this one does. It is creepy and cryptic and beautifully filmed, intriguing and unsettling but also rather romantic. Great soundtrack, too.

I'm looking forward to exploring more of Julio Medem's filmography.

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Also known as

  • La Ardilla Roja