The years of youth are usually a constant source of inspiration for fictional stories, proof of this are the short films by Jordi Núñez. The young Valencian filmmaker has already delved into the relational problems of twenty-somethings in ‘Amor de Dios’, ‘Cachitos’ and ‘Píxeles’. In a way, the spirit of his shorts is within his debut, ‘What we know’which arrives in commercial rooms after being seen in the Official Section of the Mostra de Valencia 2022.
‘What we know’ begins with Carla, a young Venezuelan who works as a waitress in a beach restaurant. The twenty-year-old is studying psychology at the University of Valencia and it is soon discovered that the reason she has landed in Levante is related to the fact that she and her mother are protected by the police for being victims of sexist violence. Although the film could have followed that dramatic vein, Núñez, who also opts for the story closest to costumbrismo, with a certain bucolic look.
This movement is intelligent, because pLets see how the young woman is rebuilding her life and how she wants the trauma of the past not to mark her future. What’s more, the film shows a very dramatic situation, since Carla has her mother sick with cancer, which forces her to have to work more overtime while she tries to get her degree. Núñez has that social element, but chooses to tell a story closer to the experiences of youthshowing that the university wants, despite adversity, to continue living.
A remarkable debut
It is that factor where the tape grows the most, since the story that Núñez narrates is a representation of how friendships are forged or broken in the university stage, especially in a city like Valencia, capital of the provinces, which also reflects the doubts of a group of twenty-somethings who want to continue living in the city but are debating whether to risk moving to another city like Barcelona or Madrid. What is also striking is how Núñez forges the emotional bonds between this group of friends, especially when between Víctor, Carla’s love interest, and Marina, his best friendwho live a kind of ambivalent relationship.
It is this relationship, which can be considered toxic, that adds more complexity to the tape, in which the mistakes of youth are seen. and also the teachings that life experience itself gives. This is where the importance of distribution comes in. Their four leading actors are correct, especially Nakarey Fernández and Javier Amann, who magnificently interpret going forward in the face of misfortune or giving up early because they know that there is a protection network behind, respectively. Both represent the two sides of the same coin.
Núñez knows how to create a remarkable feature film with few resourceswhich demonstrates the talent of a director who has the ability to capture emotions and know how to transmit them with a choral cast with whom he had already worked, which denotes a previous trust in which a long-term professional relationship is seen. A good debut by a director with a unique sensitivity.
The best: The feeling of naturalness that each scene transmits.
Worst: His ending is too bittersweet.