Director Pedro Almodóvar and cast members Penélope Cruz and Milena Smit joined NYFF Director Eugene Hernandez to discuss Parallel Mothers, the Closing Night selection of the 59th New York Film Festival.

Parallel Mothers screens tonight. Standby tickets may be available.

In this muted contemporary melodrama, two women, a generation apart, find themselves inextricably linked by their brief time together in a maternity ward. The circumstances that brought them to the Madrid hospital are quite different—one accidental, the other traumatic—and a secret, hiding the truth of the bond that connects these two, is a powerful story that tackles a deep trauma in Spanish history. Penélope Cruz’s Janis is a uniquely complex, flawed, but ultimately alluring lead character, who finds herself in a morally and emotionally treacherous situation. She’s viewed in contrast with Ana, radiantly portrayed by newcomer Milena Smit, a discovery who brings a palpable innocence, pain, and longing to this interwoven portrait of women and motherhood. These charismatic stars inhabit characters who are singular among those drawn by Almodóvar in a career defined by striking portraits of women. A Sony Pictures Classics release.

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