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Marshland (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marshland (film) POSTER.jpg
Theatrical release poster
La isla mínima
Directed by Alberto Rodríguez
Written by Alberto Rodríguez
Rafael Cobos
Starring Raúl Arévalo
Javier Gutiérrez
Nerea Barros
Antonio de la Torre
Music by Julio de la Rosa
Cinematography Alex Catalán
Edited by José M. G. Moyano
Atípica Films
Sacromonte Films
Atresmedia Cine
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures Intl.
Release date
  • September 26, 2014 (2014-09-26) (Spain)
Running time
105 minutes[1][2]
Country Spain
Language Spanish
Budget €4 million
Box office $8.9 million[3]

Marshland (Spanish: La isla mínima, "The Tiny Island") is a 2014 Spanish thriller film directed by Alberto Rodríguez. It premiered in Spain on September 26, 2014. It won ten Goya Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor (Javier Gutiérrez).

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • MARSHLAND Trailer
  • "Marshland" (La Isla Mínima) Oficial Trailer - English Sub.


MARSHLAND SEPTEMBER 20TH, 1980 We thought you weren't coming. Our car broke down. We gave one of the rooms away. You'll have to share a room tonight. - Upstairs on the right. - Thanks. Your new country. We'll grab dinner and go to bed. We want to start first thing. Yeah, I miss you. A lot. How are you? Have you been throwing up? Sure. I have to go. We'll talk tomorrow. Estrella's the eldest, she's 17. Carmen is 15, I think. - Sixteen. - Hey. Excuse me. - Where were they seen last? - At the edge of town. Their father runs the ferry at the Point. They live a couple miles down the road. They were walking home. A neighbor saw them get in a car. She's the last one who saw them. - What kind of car? - A Citroën. Model? A Dyane 6 or a 2CV. The lady isn't sure. How long ago was that? - Three days. - Nice marinade. What fish is it? Striped mullet. Never tried it. Very tasty. Is this the first time they've gone missing? No. They have a reputation. But they were always home by bedtime. What for? A reputation. You know. No, I don't. They like to have a good time. You don't? A reputation for being easy. Give me another ten. Bad time to pick on the military. What that fascist said is antidemocratic. All I did was write a letter to the paper. That's not a crime. This country isn't a democracy. They're not used to it. You can't criticize a general and expect a pat on the back. The military still has power. So what do we do? Leave it like it was? Look where it got you. - Yeah, with you. - No. I'm not the cop with a future in Madrid. For me this isn't a punishment. I don't want to be a hero. You'd rather extort money from hookers and bars. Who told you that? - I have a good ear. - What else have you heard? That's not enough for you? A bottle of sweet wine and two glasses. No, one. Good night. What are they drinking? - Gin. - Gin? Give them another round. Is this enough? Plenty. And a donut or some churros. Keep them lucid. And for you? Another beer. I'd better not mix anymore. Well, okay. Give me both. - What time is it? - Late. Get up. They gave us a car while they fix ours. FAIR WAGES I heard last night the girls wanted to leave town. People talk a lot when they drink. And go where? Anywhere. Their father wasn't very happy with them. Rocio. Give these gentlemen some wine. Say when. When. - For you? - No, thank you. Smells good. What is it? River crabs. Spicy? So what now? Which is their bedroom? May I? WELCOME TO THE LABOR MARKET Any idea where they may have gone? Did you argue about anything? Notice anything missing? A bankbook, for their savings account. And clothing. Do you know why your daughters wanted to leave? My daughters didn't want to go anywhere. Did anyone want to hurt them? - Any money, anything valuable? - Do you know why you're here? - To find your daughters. - No one gives a shit about them. You're here because her cousin served with Judge Andrade. So skip the song and dance and just find them. Lunch. I'm coming. I found it in the brazier. Please don't tell my husband. If he finds out he'll kill them. They've already brought him enough shame. - Were they with anyone? - They were alone. Did you talk to them? They were far away. We were with them after that. Where? At the bumper cars for a while, then we went home. - What time was it? - Midnight. I know because we had to go. - Where did you leave them? - On the road. At the edge of town. - Did they have boyfriends? - No. Is it true they wanted to leave town? - Who doesn't? - I don't. - You're lame. - And you're jealous. Okay. Did they ever say where? Anywhere is better than this. Any friends with a white car, a Citröen? No. It's Quini. What? Her boyfriend is outside. Can we go now? You can leave. - Your son? - The youngest. He's in Germany. He's been working there for two years. I have two more in Barcelona and my daughter's in France. Can you tell me what you saw? On the bend. That's where it stopped. Did you see how many people were in the car? No. Were they forced into the car? I think they knew each other. Because they were laughing. I drew a sketch for you. This one is a 2CV, with round headlights on the hood. And the Dyane 6 has them built in. It was more like this one. The Dyane 6. - Who are they? - Pickers. Here for the harvest. He's from the town. They know him. Could be a picker who comes every year. Or someone who works at the fair. The father has a Dyane 6. Yellow. It was parked outside the house. Yellow looks like white at night. - And gray. It's a common car. - Excuse me. Someone wants to talk to you. Angelita is psychic, she sees stuff. She talks to the dead in her sleep. She asks them what she wants to know and the dead tell her. Have a seat. I've been talking to my dead mother the last two nights and she said she saw the girls at the abandoned farmhouse. Something wrong? Nothing. LONG LIVE FRANCO VICTORY WAS OURS AND ALWAYS WILL BE Pedro! Over here! What's up? I'll get the car. I'll see if I can reach it. I'm almost touching the water. Careful! Are you okay? I got it, pull me up! Estrella was wearing hose like those. Freeze! Stop! Why are you running? - I don't have a permit. - What is that? A baby deer? Roebuck. Where are you from? The town. Get up. What's your name? Jesus. You and I met the other night at the fair, remember? My head still hurts from the gin. How did you get here? I walked. It's a long walk. Not if you know the trails. See anyone go in or out of the farmhouse? I don't like that place. Nothing but ghosts around. Can I go? How much do you get for Bambi? 250 pesetas a kilo. Don't sell it, you owe us. So find someone who knows how to cook it. Son of a bitch! Get out of here or I'll peg you in the head! Find anything? No, nothing. In the well? Garbage. Tie up the geese, I need to take a leak. Abelardo! Abelardo, come here! Carmen. Estrellla. Go back to the car, I forgot my notebook. - Where was that? - Back there. Then why are you putting it here? - With the other stuff. - What stuff? The pile. All together so nothing gets lost. I'll put it back if you want. No, leave it there. Don't touch anything else. Write this down. Apart from the breasts... Several cuts, apparently stab wounds. First degree burn on the left hand. Let's move to the other body. Write down that she has cuts across her neck, abdomen and thorax. Three fingers cut off on her left hand. Signs of vaginal injury. She was probably raped like her sister. Help me turn her over. She was forced from behind too. They have been in the water for two days. - Where does this road lead? - To the river. What are those photos for? El Caso. - How did you find out? - I got a call. - Who? - I don't know. Get out of here. Weren't you listening? Get the hell out of here! I'm leaving, I'm leaving! Go on. Handle this discreetly and solve it as soon as possible. I promise you'll be rewarded. The harvest begins soon and we can't lose it. We already have enough problems with the strike. Your ticket back to Madrid. They weren't killed here, there's no blood. Someone drove them here and dumped them. The tire tracks double back. He changed his mind and turned around. Maybe he saw someone and got nervous. Someone has to tell the parents. You're from here, they know you. You guys do it. We have to see them every day. I'll do it. Let's get a drink. Thanks. Excuse me. This came for you earlier. And your wife called. She said to call her back. What's wrong? A guy wants to see you. He's drunk and he has a shotgun. Who are you guys? We're police. We heard you wanted to see us. Put down the shotgun. No, you guys aren't cops. We don't sleep in uniform. Put that down. Wanna see my badge? Stay back. I'll show you my badge and you put down the shotgun. It's not loaded. I only wanted to talk. I'm sorry. Beatriz was my girlfriend. He killed her. He killed Adela too. He chops them up and dumps them in the river. That's why they only found the foot. What foot? It was her shoe. I gave it to her. She said she was coming back. Back from where? The Costa del Sol. She found a job there. She loved me. Nobody commits suicide with a suitcase. What suitcase? Hers. They found it floating in the river. Castro. Who was it? I don't know. We got back to the hotel late. I didn't want to wake you. Late means late. What do I do if there's no phone, paint one? I'm working, don't start. I am calm. You're the one who isn't. Good morning. I'm sorry. - Morning. - Morning. Try the manteca colorá. I'm not hungry. The girls' autopsy just came. Estrella's pantyhose had semen on them. Blood type AB. I talked to Miguel. I asked him for a list of all the Dyane 6's in the area. When did you talk to him? Early. You never sleep? - Sure I do. - When? When you do, that's why you never see me. The forensic said it was a boat propeller. Nobody in her family knew she was leaving town to work. The girls had one just like it. JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN These places aren't on the map. We don't know where they are. - What's in it for me? - What do you want? What size are those? Size big. These places are hard to find. Almost 500 pesetas. Five hundred. And the smokes. For the ride. I told you, nobody lives there. It's abandoned. Want me to open it? Looks like they left in a hurry. They left when they found out their daughter had drowned. They couldn't set foot in the house after that. You know them? Beatriz, Estrella and Carmen. Charlie's Angels. The one in the middle is Quini. Hi. Hi. His mother disappeared three years ago. My husband gave her this cross. She never took it off. My Adela said it was good luck. I have something to show you. Did you notice anything strange before she left? My granddaughter was very sad when Quini left her. Quini? Quini, from Villa-Franco. The good-looking one. She didn't say where she was going? To find work. She said she'd come back for us after. These books are hers. She was going to night school to get her diploma. - Can we take these? - Please don't lose them. Thank you. Thanks. Who are you? What the fuck do you want? Okay, okay! You, stay put. Did you know Carmen and Estrella? Everyone did. What was your relationship? You already know. I dated Carmen for a couple months. A little young, no? Young for what? Did you take photos of her? Do I look like a photographer? Want me to hit you again? Where were you the night they disappeared? September 17th, six days ago. Where? With a friend. Blonde, long hair, 16 years old? - Is that how you like them? - Motherfucker! íStop, stop, stop! Okay, okay. Where were you? You already know, I was with Marina the whole time. How do you know her? I don't. And this one? Nope. Why are you in the photo? Must have met her that night. Can I go now? Get out. That's my knife. Take it. They're all the same age. Very young. Adela disappeared on September 14th, Beatriz the 15th, Carmen and Estrella the 17th. In '77, '78 and '80. During the fair. - The town is busier. - People drink more, it takes longer to notice someone missing, more people meet... It could be an outsider, but they all knew Quini. And they all wanted to leave. Did you see his hand? Triangle tattoo. Like in the photo. Boss. What's her name? The one in green. Macarena. Give her this and another round. It's strange. What is? He's good-looking, he could have any girl. Why does he do it? You look tired. You should go to bed. Take the car, I don't mind. I'll walk back. Wednesday morning 200 workers with pickets blocked the national highway at four different spots... - Evening. - Evening. I'm coming! I'm alone. - Can I come in? - Yeah, sure. Just a moment. What can you tell me about this? That she has nice tits. It's Carmen, she's dead. She had nice tits. - What can I tell you? - Whatever you know. Where did you get it? That's not your concern. - I'm a journalist. - Don't make me laugh. Send it to Madrid. - See what they say. - I don't have time. What do you want? Something I don't know. They were tortured. Were they raped? I read your letter in the paper. I liked it. If you catch me younger, I make you a hero. It's a very rare film. Not a common brand. Imported. I don't think many people around here use a roll like that. I can find out who does. But I want the photos of their cadavers. From the autopsy. I have a family. I have to put food on the table. Does your family know what you do? My family thinks I'm the next Truman Capote. He's an American writer. Never mind. Find out. I've seen your partner too, but I don't remember where. Do you know if he ever worked in Vallecas? - I'm sorry. - Thank you. I'm sorry. I found my daughters' bankbook. My husband had it hidden in the car. We found this in the glove compartment of your car. What's going on, Rodrigo? I owe a lot of money. I can't pay him. Pay who? A loan shark. Why? Because I wanted to get my family out of here. I didn't want my daughters in this town anymore. You borrowed money for your daughters? Stop... What's wrong with you? What is it? What's wrong? Two months ago I found a brick. At the Point. A brick of what? Tobacco? Heroin. You know what that is? How much did it weigh? One kilo. What did you do with it? I sold it. What did you do with the money? I spent it. On what? The car outside. Do you think that's why they killed your daughters? I don't know. They came here for their money. They took the washing machine, the fridge, the television... If I don't pay, they'll take the car and the boat. We'll have to move away. We need to talk to the Civil Guard. Have them step up surveillance at the Point. We have to find whoever owns that heroin. I'll take the river. I'll take Quini. HUNTING LODGE FOR RENT Yes. Okay, thanks a lot. Marina's at her house. Her mother says she's fine. The Civil Guard is mixed up in all of this. Someone's tipping them off. The whole town smokes American tobacco and there's not a single butt on any of the boats. They have to get by on something between harvests. Go in. Sit there. I'm fine standing. Sit, damn it. What were you doing at the hunting lodge earlier? I was with my girlfriend. Wanna hear the details? Yes, I do. Nobody ever explained it to you? Who's the man in the hat? What man? The guy who went in after you, before I got my head bashed in. Nobody came in. I told you, we were alone. You want my blood, is that it? Call the doctor, I'll wait. Too bad you didn't bring your pajamas. You're sleeping here. ...including Lora del Rio and other towns. The situation is becoming very serious. Similar incidents are taking place as they had in recent years in the Andalusian countryside. Damn! Are you okay? These are Joaquin Varela's blood test results. Quini. His blood type doesn't match the one we're looking for. I remind you this is a democracy. Next time you want to arrest someone, you ask me first. This country isn't what it was. The harvest is soon and people are nervous. Please don't waste any more time. Good day. You're not going to school today? I'm sick. My stomach hurts. What did you do yesterday afternoon? I went to a movie. With who? With some friends. What friends? One moment, I'll be right back. Who were you with yesterday at the hunting lodge? Who was the man in the hat, Marina? What man? Aren't you a little hot in that sweater? I'm sick. How did you hurt yourself? - What? - Your wrist. My watch gives me a rash. Cut the nonsense. Who was the man in the hat? I don't know who you mean. - Where's Quini? - I don't know. You're sick and he hasn't come to visit? - I didn't tell him. - Why don't you call him? Mom! Marina, look at me. Does your mom know what you do at the lodge? Mom! Tell us who the man is or we'll tell her. Mom! What is it? I don't feel well. My stomach hurts. I'm going to throw up. Honey, what's wrong? Don't worry, ma'am. We were just leaving. - Thanks for the coffee. - You're welcome. Marina? - What are you doing? - Did you believe a word she said? Me neither. She's scared and I'm going to find out why. There are five bedrooms, each with several beds. I have extra beds if there are more of you. There's room outside for the dogs. There's water, electricity... Anyway... All the comforts. - Can I have a look? - Yes. Do you know the area? Is the house yours? I wish. We have fans available if you need them. Whose house is it? The owner lives in Valencia. She hasn't come in years, she's very old... - Who rented it last? - I don't remember. It's been closed for a long time. It's the off season. I was here yesterday and I saw three people enter the house. Nice, very pretty. You're hurting me! I asked you a question. Who was here yesterday? I don't know who rents it. You rent it and you don't know to who? I rent it to him by the day. He calls me right before and puts the money in an account. Lower your voice. Who's the man in the hat? Who is he? I don't know anything. I get paid not to meddle. What are you doing? What's going on here? Nothing. These gentlemen came to see the house. They were just leaving. Good afternoon. - Who is that? Do you know him? - The watchman? Never seen him in my life. Take a stroll, Jesus. Drive. I'll tell you where to go. Go inside. Go on. Have a seat. Eugenio. Give them something to drink, it's hot. The heroin Rodrigo found was mine, but he didn't find it, he stole it. But I didn't kill anyone. That's Fermin over there. Angelita is his wife. You've already met. She's not psychic. Fermin was at the farmhouse the night the girls were killed. He knows more than what was in the well. But there's a price. What do you want? Withdraw the Civil Guard from the Point. Okay or not? - Okay. - Tell them, Fermin. I saw the man who threw the bag in the well. What did he look like? I didn't see his face, it was too dark. But he was normal, a normal person. It was the same day the girls disappeared. I was at the farmhouse waiting for a brick. It was five in the morning. What kind of car was it? A white Dyane 6. He drove right past me. The car had a sticker on the back window. What kind of sticker? A woman with long hair and a hat. How long? This long? A little shorter. What was the hat like? Big. Like a priest. Like this? I've seen this before somewhere. Anything else, Fermin? That's what I saw. Hey. I did see your problem. The dead are waiting for you. It's almost time. He gave her these towels. They were from the hotel where he worked in Malaga. - What was her friend's name? - Sebastian. Sebastian what? - I don't know. - Is he from around here? I don't know. - Have you ever seen him? - Never. - What else did she say? - That he was nice to her. That he helped her get over Quini. Thank you. Bye, buddy. Goodbye. His name is Sebastian Rovira Galvez. He doesn't work at the hotel anymore. He got fired. They still have some of his things there. We need to get them. MOTHER WITH FRIEND TOMORROW AT 7:30 AT THE CROSS. GO ALONE. The photos of the girls were taken with a roll like that one. - Only one place sells them. - Where? Where are my photos? I don't have them yet. And what do you have? Aguila Photography, in Seville. Someone places a prepaid order every month. Who? A good-looking guy named Quini. They develop them there too, but they wouldn't tell me about them. But definitely not communion photos. I think there's someone else there. You can see the reflection of whoever took the photo. He's blurred by the flash. Tell me who he is and you'll get your photos. All right, but I'll need the negative. Otherwise it's impossible. I won't use it. You can trust me. Would you trust someone like you? You have my word. Can he sleep at night? Your partner. I remembered. He was in the Social-Political Brigade. You know, Franco's Gestapo. He killed a girl at a protest in Vallecas in '71. Shot her twice. He's aged badly. And I'm glad. - Hello - How are you? That's Marina. She and my daughters were close friends. Quini took her to the hunting lodge the other day. After they were together he asked her not to get dressed and he tied her to the bed. Then he left the room and came back with another man. Who was he? She didn't see his face. All she knows is he smelled good, like expensive cologne. And that he had very soft hands. He took photographs of her. Quini threatened to show them to everyone in town if she told anyone. The night my daughters were killed... Marina was with Quini, but not the whole night. Do you think she'd be able to tell a judge? She couldn't even tell you. I have to go. Good afternoon. I'm Pedro Suarez. - The manager is expecting me. - One moment, please. ACCESS PROHIBITED TO NON-EMPLOYEES It's this suitcase. - Shall I open it? - Yes, open it. The guy was really weird. He had a problem with a guest. What problem? Something weird with a very young girl. I think that's why he vanished all of a sudden. Poof... ...and he was gone. Rovira Galvez, Sebastian. Sexual assault on a minor? Whereabouts unknown... A two-year-old warrant for his arrest... Anything else? Any friends who know him? No, he has no family. Nobody in his town ever saw him again. He didn't even go to his mother's funeral. Yeah, yeah. Thank you very much. The wages are nothing! It's not enough to survive on! You should know we're going through rough times. Mr. Alfonso is offering 20% more than last year. 150 pesetas more per day. That's nothing! Silence, please! 170 pesetas. That's his final offer. Anyone who doesn't want to work can stay home. We've too many people already. If you want to sign up, get in line. Sir! Hey! Hey! Excuse me. Juan Robles. I just wanted to introduce myself. Alfonso Corrales. I'm with the police. I'm here about the murders. If I can be of any help... Let me know if you need anything. See you around. Thank you. Yes. Yes, don't worry. Of course. Good night, Manuel. And thanks. The field boss says there's no Dyane 6 on the Corrales property, neither registered or unregistered. And Marina's mother says her daughter is at a movie. I'll call Mr. Corrales tomorrow and have him come in for a blood test. - It's late for today. - It's 11 o'clock. - I don't think it's late. - I'll call him tomorrow morning. I don't think there will be any problem. Right now I'm going to have them check on the girl. I'm not asking you to call him on the telephone. I'm asking you to authorize a blood test. Right now. And I also want authorization to question Corrales and Quini together. I heard you were a troublemaker. What did you say? All you have is literature. Your partner saw a man in a hat. Nothing more. Isn't that right? That's right. I wear a hat too. Does that make me a suspect too? I won't authorize anything until you bring me something conclusive. Now please leave. I'll call you when I hear back. You're protecting him. What? You don't know how things work around here. Yes, I do. Just like everywhere else. You're going to be a father. You should be more careful about what you do. Get out. Why didn't you say anything? Whose side are you on? Are you with them too? I just want to solve this case. I don't want to be taken off it. You're just like the rest of them. You'd rather things were like before. I know what you used to do. I know about Vallecas. You don't know anything. Nothing! Be careful who you get your information from. - That guy is out for blood. - Let me go. It was an accident. And it wasn't me. It was my partner. I didn't even draw my weapon. If you killed someone, I'd cover for you too. Is that wrong? Let's go to Marina's house. No, how could he be the father? He's 87 years old! Tell them I'll do anything, I don't care. Hello? It's me. Hi, Marina. I wanted to know what's happening with Malaga. When will they call me? Look, there was a problem with your contract. They're not hiring anyone until next year. Talk to them. Tell them I'll do anything, I don't care. I have to get out of here. I can't take it anymore. Let's meet. At the usual spot in half an hour. She called this number. It's the hunting lodge. It's okay. Coming! Who is it? - Who else lives in this house? - Nobody. - Who? - The watchman. - What's his name? - Antonio. - Who is Sebastian? - I don't know. Stop. Where is Sebastian? I said stop! Sit down. Do you know who Carmen and Estrella were? Before they killed them, they tortured them. With a hunting knife and pliers. They ripped off their nipples. They cut off their toes. They stuck something in their ass and vagina until they bled. They were awake the whole time. You can't imagine how much pain a person can bear before fainting. I didn't know. I didn't know, I didn't know... Look at me. What's the watchman's name? Sebastian. He came looking for work and I hired him. His mother was my friend. He needed to hide. Hide from what? I don't know. He had changed a lot. I hardly recognized him. Do you know Alfonso Corrales? Yes. Have you ever seen him in this house? I don't come here when the house is rented out. Where is Sebastian? Where? At the abandoned house at the lodge. Open it. Juan! A contract in Estrella Blanco's name to work at the Hotel Medio Dia. And there are more, with other girls' names. Hey! There goes the car! Come on! Careful, it's slippery in the rain. Careful! Careful! Go, go, go! It's stuck. This road leads only to the Marshland. There's a shortcut over here! Freeze! Murderer! Yeah? They asked about me? Who? To congratulate me? A telegram? Open it. DEATH IN MARSHLAND GIRLS BUTCHERED No, skip that. Where it says "Destination." Alcobendas? That's Madrid. I can practically walk there. How are you? Of course I miss you. A lot. I can't wait to see you both. Pedro, come here. This is Macarena and... Don't tell me... Tell me. Marivi. Turn around, let him get a look at you. Go on, turn. You two are gorgeous. My partner, Pedro. - Say hi to Pedro. - Hi, Pedro. They work at the crab factory. We're celebrating because they got a raise. They won the strike. Long live the working class! You want another drink? Come on, my treat. Let's have a drink. Pedro, Pedro... Where is it? Where have you got it? Right here. Here. Who's that? Who? DOUBLE HOMICIDE SOLVED IN MARSHLAND It's him. It's him, he's my friend. Here, hold onto it. For your son. Don't lose it. Don't lose it, Pedro. Well? How about that drink? You're a hero now. Your photos. There's somebody else but you can't see who. It's just a spot. To Truman Capote. To Truman Capote. You were misinformed. It wasn't him. It was an accident. A gift. This enlargement came out better. Taken the day the girl was killed at the protest. They called him the Crow. He alone tortured over 100 people. And he was the best at it. Take care, Pedro. Jesus made us some food for the road. Here, I owed you this. What is it? Bambi stew. Watch yourself. You too. We're good, right?



In 1980, Madrid homicide detectives Pedro Suarez and Juan Robles are sent to a 'backwater' town on the Guadalquivir Marshes in Spain's 'Deep South' to investigate the disappearance of two teenage sisters during the town's festivities. Pedro, openly critical of Spain's past during the Francoist State, has a problem with authority figures, while Juan seems not to care, though he has a troubled past of his own.

The detectives meet with the girls' (Carmen and Estrella) father, Antonio, a local riverboat skipper. Although Antonio and his wife Rocío say their daughters were average girls, the duo hear from the local police that they were known for their promiscuity, and from their friends that they had a deep urge to leave the town. Rocío also gives the detectives a burnt film reel she's found, depicting the girls naked and in bed with a man whose face is obscured by a flash. Soon enough, both Carmen and Estrella are found dumped in the local marsh, having been raped and tortured to death.

Troubled and with no leads, the two attempt to spy on Quini, the handsome and suave former boyfriend of Carmen. Quini, now dating another town girl, Marina, manages to sneak up on the detectives after they've followed him and attempts to threaten them with a knife. After disarming and sending him away, the two agree that Quini must be part of whatever is occurring. The problem proves to be even bigger after a drunk man named Castro tells the detectives about a similar case: his girlfriend, Beatriz, was close to Quini and the sisters, and was found dismembered in the marshes, her suitcase floating there.

Pedro and Juan continue to investigate, gradually unraveling secrets. It is revealed that the riverboats and marshes are being used to smuggle and transport heroin, and that Antonio had stolen a kilo and sold it, getting him in trouble with the locals. However, the locals involved in the drugs seek out the detectives, revealing their participation in drug smuggling in full but claiming they had nothing to do with the sisters' deaths. One of the men does aid the investigation, however, by describing a white Dyane 6 he saw at the church where one of the girls' purse was found. After digging through more victims' items, the two see a pattern of out-of-town job brochures for women, eventually linking Quini to a man named Sebastian. Digging through Sebastian's past, they find a warrant out for him for the possible sexual molestation of a child, solidifying his chance of being the main culprit. Juan and Pedro deduce that Quini and Sebastian were luring the young women of the town, who were aching to leave and find their own independence through work, by passing these brochures around and then entrapping them into sexual slavery at a local hunting lodge.

The waters grow murky, however, when Pedro becomes aware of Juan's past shooting of a girl at a protest during the Franco Era. Pedro is also angered after a possible third culprit, a worker's union representative named Alfonso Corrales, is brushed over, most likely due to complex political ties. The two continue on though, eventually deducing Sebastian's cover as the watchman of the hunting lodge. Pedro attempts to tail his white Dyane 6, but loses him. With the help of a local poacher named Jesús, the trio finally chase Sebastian into the marshes. All three are shot by the sniping Sebastian, though as he is about to slay Pedro, Juan is able to sneak up and stab him, which he does repeatedly, in a state. After Sebastian falls dead into the swamp, Juan opens the trunk of the car to rescue a bruised but still alive Marina.

The town is brought peace after the case is solved, as well as by the local worker's union accepting a pay raise (which in principle, they felt was too low). All seems well for the detectives too, as Pedro sees a promotion and relocation closer to his own home and wife. On the final night of their stay however, Pedro receives photographs from a journalist who has helped on the case. Though Juan justified his shooting story by saying it was his former partner's actions, the journalist reveals him to have actually been a brutal enforcer for Franco's secret police force, and to have once been known as 'The Crow'.

In the morning, before they drive home, Juan asks a stoney-faced Pedro if they 'are good'. Pedro does not answer, and the two ride off to an uncertain future.


  • Raúl Arévalo as Pedro Suárez
  • Javier Gutiérrez as Juan Robles
  • Antonio de la Torre as Rodrigo
  • Nerea Barros (es) as Rocío
  • Jesús Castro as Joaquín Varela, "Quini"
  • Mercedes León as Mrs. Casa Soto
  • Adelfa Calvo as Fernanda
  • Manolo Solo as a journalist
  • Salvador Reina as Jesús
  • Jesús Carroza as Miguel
  • Juan Carlos Villenueva as Judge Andrade
  • Alberto González as Alfonso Corrales
  • Manuel Salas as Sebastián Rovira
  • Cecilia Villanueva as María
  • Ana Tomeno as Marina

Critical reception

The film received mostly positive reviews. It has a critic approval rating of 91% on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 7.8/10, based on 34 reviews.[4] Critics have hailed Marshland as one of the best Spanish films of 2014, and have defined it as a suffocating cop thriller with a subtle sociopolitical subplot.[5] They have also pointed out reminiscences of American series True Detective in the star power of the main actors and the environment of the film, although the film began to be recorded before the series's release.[6]

Awards and nominations

Awards Category Nominated Result
San Sebastián International Film Festival[7] Golden Shell for Best Film Nominated
Best Actor Javier Gutiérrez Won
Best Cinematography Álex Catalán Won
I Premio Feroz Zinemaldia Won
II Premios Feroz[8] Best Drama Won
Best Director Alberto Rodríguez Won
Best Screenplay Alberto Rodríguez & Rafael Cobos Nominated
Best Main Actor Raúl Arévalo Nominated
Javier Gutiérrez Won
Best Supporting Actor Antonio de la Torre Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Nerea Barros Nominated
Best Original Soundtrack Julio de la Rosa Won
Best Trailer Won
Best Film Poster Nominated
29th Goya Awards[9] Best Film Won
Best Director Alberto Rodríguez Won
Best Original Screenplay Rafael Cobos and Alberto Rodríguez Won
Best Main Actor Raúl Arévalo Nominated
Javier Gutiérrez Won
Best Supporting Actor Antonio de la Torre Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Mercedes León Nominated
Best New Actress Nerea Barros Won
Best Original Score Julio de la Rosa Won
Best Cinematography Álex Catalán Won
Best Editing José M. G. Moyano Won
Best Production Supervision Manuela Ocón Nominated
Best Art Direction Pepe Domínguez Won
Best Costume Design Fernando García Won
Best Makeup and Hairstyles Yolanda Piña Nominated
Best Sound Daniel de Zayas, Nacho Royo-Villanova and Pelayo Gutiérrez Nominated
Best Special Effects Pedro Moreno and Juan Ventura Nominated
Neox Fan Awards 2015[10] Best Spanish film Finalist
28th European Film Awards[11] European Film Academy People's Choice Award for Best European Film Won


  1. ^ Marshland at AllMovie.
  2. ^ Marshland at Rotten Tomatoes (movie info).
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Marshland (La isla mínima) (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 5, 2018. 
  5. ^ Pazos, Pablo (26 September 2014). ""La isla mínima": llega la mejor película española del año". HoyCinema (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Rodríguez Marchante, Oti (26 September 2014). "Una intriga seca en un mundo húmedo". HoyCinema (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Palmarés de la 62 edición del Festival de San Sebastián". Festival de San Sebastián (in Spanish). 27 September 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Lista de nominados a los Premios Feroz 2015". Premios Feroz (in Spanish). 17 December 2014. Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "La isla maxima [sic]". Premios Goya (in Spanish). January 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  10. ^ neox-fan-awards-2015 Archived September 1, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "European Film Awards Winners 2015: Paolo Sorrentino's 'Youth' Scoops Best Film, Director & Actor For Michael Caine". Deadline. 

External links

This page was last edited on 5 March 2018, at 19:53.
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