Fellow Travellers


On the train to Dundee (don’t ask). A little girl is wailing. Her mother is trying to reassure her.

“We CAN’T go back for her. But the Train Man saw her. So he’ll put her in a nice safe place. So we can get her when we go back.”

The story emerges — a dropped toy on the station platform, no time to go back, train doors closing…

The kid is inconsolable, then calms down.

They get off at their station. As they head off, the girl can be seen looking around hopefully, as if the toy has perhaps zoomed ahead of the train and is waiting for her here. She calls to it, as you would to a pet:

“Pe-enguin! Peeeee-enguin!”


What, you ask, has this to do with movies? Watch Victor Erice’s SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE. Childhood is a time of anxiety and fantasy.


3 Responses to “Fellow Travellers”

  1. It’s a beautiful film, but the pace is a bit slow for me in the beginning. Anyway,I really like Ana Torrent. Can you recommend me other good films made by Victor Erice ?

  2. He’s not exactly prolific! The Quince Tree Sun probably has the best reputation — El Sur is well-regarded, but was compromised by the producer. His short episode of Ten Minutes Older is absolutely terrific, I should show it to your class.

    Oh, I have the Vigo box set now — remind me about it next week.

  3. […] I are now so old I had to check I hadn’t written about this one before. But all I found was this — and I have no memory either of writing it, or of the events […]

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