Six year old Frida (Artigas) moves to the country with her uncle Esteve (Verdaguer) after the death of her mother in Barcelona. Esteve’s wife Marga (Cusi) is warm and loving, and Frida’s younger cousin Anna (Robles) is a welcome new playmate. But Frida still struggles to adapt to the rural idyll, missing her mother and her old life. Lingering feelings of loss and still fresh memories of her departed mom make for a challenging adjustment.
Writer/director Simon based this absorbing story on her own childhood memories, and she succeeds in making Frida’s odd, erratic behavior feel totally true and unforced. Young players Artigas and Robles carry the film with utterly natural, unmannered performances. The film’s leisurely pace and documentary-like style create a powerful immediacy as we experience this new, unfamiliar world through Frida’s wavering steps. This immersive, emotion-filled journey examines the nature of childhood grief and healing with rare sensitivity. No wonder we all love “Summer”!