Directors Iker Arce and Miriam Ortega Dominguez’s “¿Quieres Que Hoy Te Bese?” is a nearly half hour short film that resonated deeply with me when it was all over. What we assume is a short horror drama about a teenage girl coming in to adulthood in the most sinister fashion, we soon discover is a very brilliantly constructed, disturbing non-linear horror tale.
“¿Quieres Que Hoy Te Bese?” begins a lot like a classic tale of puppy love as we meet young Nerea, a beautiful young girl who begins forming affections for her neighbor Iker. He’s a nice enough young boy who loves being around Nerea. One day in her bathroom while changing out of her bathing suit she discovers she’s bleeding from her private parts. What we’re assuming is the beginning of her first menstruation soon devolves in to an odd fascination with blood. Soon Nerea realizes she loves the taste of blood, while just about every other food she ingests she must immediately spit out.
Her fascination turns in to hunger, and she has to figure out how to properly cope, especially with a father who spends most of his time out of town working. “¿Quieres Que Hoy Te Bese?” touches a lot upon common parental fears, and uses the idea of Nerea’s obsession with blood as symbolism for so much more than what the directors let on. Once the directors reach the climax, everything comes crashing around us and we realize that there’s so much more disturbing circumstances for Nerea beyond her sudden love for blood. With “¿Quieres Que Hoy Te Bese?” nothing was ever as it seemed, but I didn’t feel tricked when the narrative came full circle in the final scene.
The acting, along with the stellar writing and sheer symbolism with the way Nerea copes with her sudden lust, as well as her confrontation of the urge is poetic, and helps cushion the sheer disgusting catalyst that unfolds. Iker Arce and Miriam Ortega Dominguez’s “¿Quieres Que Hoy Te Bese?” is a stellar horror drama teeming with themes about loss of innocence, trauma, and more. I don’t want to give it away in case anyone is lucky enough to cross paths with it at a festival, but I loved it.
The Final Girls Berlin Film Festival runs every year from January 31st to February 3rd.