Christopher Ruiz-Esparza (a mere 9 years of age at the time of filming) stars as Abel, a young boy whose confounding behaviour and refusal to speak has landed him in a mental health facility. His single mother is convinced that a reunion between Abel and his younger brother and older sister would be the answer to repairing his condition, so she arranges for Abel's doctor to release the boy for a single week. Abel starts speaking the day after returning home but the joy of the mother quickly turns into confusion as the child starts speaking and behaving as a fully-grown adult – her missing partner. Not wishing to worsen his condition the mother and the siblings go along with Abel's unorthodox, strange behaviour. But then his father decides to show up…
Disturbing, surreal and darkly funny, Abel follows in a great tradition of fabular film-making associated with the likes of Guillermo del Toro and deals with an important issue in Mexico – parental absenteeism – increasingly common as many Mexican men abandon their families to find work in the United States.
Directed by Diego Luna and executive produced by Gael Garcia Bernal and John Malkovich, the critically acclaimed Abel is a darkly funny and poignant fable about a child who thinks he is an adult, and will be released on UK DVD on 25th April 2011 by Network Releasing at the RRP £19.99. The following special features will be included:
- Introductory booklet written by Maria Delgado, programmer for Spanish and Latin American films at the London Film Festival;
- Footage of the 54th BFI London Film Festival 2010 in partnership with American Express courtesy of the BFI Live and the BFI National Archive featuring Diego Luna, writer Augusto Mendoza and actor Christopher Ruiz Esparza;
- ¡VIVA! Spanish and Latin American Film Festival Q&A chaired by Dr Andy Willis from University of Salford featuring Diego Luna and producer Pablo Cruz at the Cornerhouse Manchester in January 2011;
- Filmed interview in London 2010 with Diego Luna, writer Augusto Mendoza and actor Christopher Ruiz Esparza as part of the promotional;
- Chile video diary premiere 2010;
- Stills gallery;
- Theatrical Trailer.
You can read our review of the film's cinema release and watch a video interview with director Diego Luna here.