The Volunteer at the 2022 European Union Film Festival in Toronto
Directed by Nely Reguera, “The Volunteer” represents Spain at the 2022 edition of the EUFF in Toronto.
- Original title: La Voluntaria.
- Directed by Nely Reguera, Spain / Greece, 2022, 99 minutes.
- In Spanish with English subtitles. Watch trailer.
Marisa is a kind, spirited, recently retired doctor. Wanting to escape her meaningless routines and seemingly endless free time, she travels to Greece to work as a volunteer with child refugees. Once there, Marisa realizes that the managers of the refugee camp deem it more important to obey established rules than to help.
Her bosses, who work for the NGO overseeing the camp, seem obsessed with their own importance as would-be saviours, maintaining firm control of the refugee population. They do not allow Marisa to adapt her tutoring to the personal needs of the children. Despite the rules, Marisa takes the initiative, becoming especially attached to Ahmed, a boy traumatized by the disappearance of his parents.
Carmen Machi authentically expresses with complexity the ambiguity of her heroine, her hesitations, and feelings of futility, providing a powerful image of the impasse which emotional unavailability causes in humans.—Mariana Hristova, Cineuropa
About the EUFF Toronto
After a two-year hiatus as an in-theatre festival, the European Union Film Festival returns for a hybrid edition that brings the latest in European cinema to Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto. Presented with festival partners in Ottawa (Canadian Film Institute) and Vancouver (Cinemathèque), along with the member states of the European Union and the Delegation of the European Union to Canada, this year’s festival features entries from all 27 E.U. members.
This year’s festival runs November 17–December 2.