Parents' Guide to

Elena Knows

By Jose Solis, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Powerful drama with suicide, language, and grief.

Movie NR 2023 100 minutes
Elena Knows movie poster

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Characters like Elena usually don't get movies made about them. The lead character of Elena Knows is 65, a single mother with advancing Parkinson's, and she doesn't have a sweet word to say about anyone, especially not her daughter, Rita, who has devoted her life to caring for her. Elena's life is turned upside down when Rita dies by suicide. Convinced that Rita was murdered and the police are missing out on important clues, Elena sets out on her own investigation.

Ridden with guilt, spite, and an utter loneliness she would never accept, Elena is given depth and endless layers by the heartbreaking Moran, who turns in an unforgettable performance. Director Anahí Berneri lets her camera linger on Moran, who in return grants her moments where silence becomes the loudest form of grief you have ever heard. Younger audience members might not be captivated by the film's slow burn, but more mature viewers will find honest conversations about grief, loneliness, death by suicide, and the effects silence and unspoken pain can have on the lives of those society sometimes chooses to forget. Elena Knows is a film of great wisdom, if you're willing to follow its unconventional advice.

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