The biggest boon of our times is that Netflix provides a global platform for films that would have otherwise ceased to do so. Coven of Sisters is a Spanish drama that is set in the year 1609. It is the era where superstitions took over basic prudence and logic. Well not that we have come far away from that!
Whenever we fail to understand something or we are too scared to face the truth then we like to rely on something that is beyond humanity. We like to hide behind this big shadow that we consider divine. It arises from a need to be able to blame someone when we are too blind to see our inabilities.
Coven of Sisters has been directed by Pablo Aguero. The screenplay has been written by Katell Guillou and Pablo Aguero. Amaia Aberasturi, Alex Brendemühl, and Daniel Fanego perform their bits with sincerity, leaving us all harrowed by the turn of events.
‘Coven of Sisters’ Summary
The film opens where Rostegui (Alex Brendemühl) is observing the blasphemous flames with his Consejero Salazar (Daniel Fanego). Both these men are on a mission. The state has given them the responsibility to find the women who are performing Devil’s Sabbath. Yes, they believe that such a thing exists and the women are burned down alive just on the mere suspicion that they are doing black magic. There is no rule of law that prevails and the women are guilty until proven innocent.
They get the news that a group of sisters was found dancing around the fire in the middle of the jungle. Based on the suspicion Ana (Amaia Aberasturi), Katalin (Garazi Urkola), Maria (Yune Nogueiras), Maider (Jone Laspiur), Olaia (Irati Saez de Urabain) and Oneka (Lorena Ibarra) are arrested by the guards of the states. They are stripped and put in a dungeon. Rostegui is curious to see a witch sabbath once in his life. He starts to interrogate the girls one by one, often using torturous means and methods. The belief was that if a woman is a witch then she won’t cry when she is hurt and neither would she feel the pain. Instead, she starts singing and summoning her master i.e Lucifer.
The sisters realize that there is no coming back from this. They realize that the only way they could escape this is by accepting that they are witches. They knew that Rostegui is obsessed with the idea of the Devil’s Sabbath. They thought that if they could weave a story and capture his attention then they might be able to postpone the date of their execution. The reason behind them wanting to postpone the execution was that their fathers were sailors. And they were supposed to return back from the seas after the full moon night. They knew that if the sailors returned they could be saved.
Major Spoilers Ahead
The Last Dance
The sisters start making up a story. They bear all the pain and the humiliation. The inquisitor, Rostegui is so blinded by his belief that he finds sense in the fake story too. He himself connects the loose endings. It displays a very dangerous pattern. It shows the repercussions of being brainwashed by untrue facts. You just seem to abandon all the prevailing senses. Though the film is set in the 1600s, we find similar people and circumstances even today. When people start believing in ideologies just because it has been propagated by influential personalities then it creates all sorts of problems. The problem is not that you have an affinity towards the personality. But that you are blindly believing it to be true without subjecting it to reasoning. That personality could be your own parents, it could be the head of the state or the flagbearer of the community or religion you belong to. After a point in time, we become so blind that we see things that we believe to be true. Our mind starts connecting dots even when the reality might be totally contradictory. A political structure highly benefits from these kinds of people who are ready to leave their prudence behind. They together become a part of a big mob that is like a herd of cattle being driven in a particular direction by the political agencies. This nonsensical majority of buffoons is capable of causing huge damage in any time period.
‘Coven of Sisters’ Ending Explained
The girls in the end realize that their stories are not enough to stop their execution. They needed to resort to real action. Though they had already accepted that they were witches, Rostegui was not satisfied by that. Moreover, we come to realize at this point that Rostegui is fascinated beyond measures by the mere concept of a Devil Sabbath. His fascination reaches an extreme level of obsession. His besetting behavior could almost be aligned with that of the Devil. And this was not just the irony of the film but the irony of today’s world too. Often he who declares himself to be the savior against all the evil is in fact the biggest evil.
Rostegui is the Lucifer in the actual sense. He is the one killing the girls on the pretext of them being witches. Instead of them, he is the one who is spreading all the evil. He believes more than the girls that Lucifer actually exists. Nobody is sure about it. Even his loyal consejero Salazar has his moments of doubts but Rostegui never has.
The girls perform the dance of the Devil. The way the beats, the expressions, and the moves have been choreographed is just immaculate. It transfixes you and you are just unable to move your eyelids. The dance takes out the devil inside Rostegui for everybody to notice. There is a gleaming evil that can be seen in his eyes. In the end, the girls run and reach a cliff. They jump from there and Rostegui exclaims that they can actually fly. But they didn’t. They jumped from the cliff and gave their lives because there was no other escape. They knew that they would be executed. But Rostegui was so blinded by his obsession that he only saw things that suited his narrative.
Coven of Sisters (Akelarre in Spanish) is like that savory Jamaican dish that might seem colorless on the surface but gives a blast of flavor once you start eating it. Streaming on Netflix, do not miss this one.
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