Parents' Guide to

The Endless Trench

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Man hides from fascists for decades; language, sex, rape.

Movie NR 2020 147 minutes
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The beauty of The Endless Trench is in its complex and patient examination of the way humans justify and rationalize their actions of the moment. In early scenes, the hidden Higinio asks for political books and ardently objects to Franco's fascist policies. But after decades of hiding in a small space, dependent on a wife and son for protecting and feeding him, he reads fantasy novels and is more interested in the logistics of keeping his space clean and functional than in the world outside. Decades into his exile from humanity, he urges a young starry-eyed dissident to spend the time he has on truly important things like being a husband and a father, giving and taking love, rather than trying to change the world.

The movie is long and early scenes shot through a hole in the floor into a dark room certainly reproduce the limitations of being in hiding, but squinting is not the best way to watch a movie. As Higinio's world opens up to include his wife and son, and as the emphasis moves to the changing family dynamics and the toll his hiding takes on his wife and child, the movie blooms into a tense but profound tragedy about the effect of politics on individual lives.

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