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Arrow goes in search of The Sacred Spirit

On April 15 2022, the essential, alternative streaming service ARROW premieres THE SACRED SPIRIT, an astounding, one-of-a-kind masterwork from Spanish writer/director Chema Garcia Ibarra.

José Manuel and the other members of the ufology association Ovni-Levante meet weekly to exchange information about extraterrestrial messages and abductions. Julio, their leader, dies unexpectedly, leaving José Manuel as the only person who knows about the cosmic secret that could alter the human future. Meanwhile in Spain a search is going on for a little girl who disappeared some weeks before.

The film starts out as a kooky comedy about a seemingly-harmless group of eccentric UFO spotters thrown into disarray when their founder dies, then takes a truly unexpected turn into much darker material. Ibarra, a director of award-winning shorts, making his feature debut here, manages to balance this uneasy mix of the quirky and downright disturbing. Composing scenes with a Wes Anderson-esque attention to detail, and shooting in luminous 16mm, he draws marvellous performances from a non-professional cast in the city of Elche (Ibarra’s hometown).

THE SACRED SPIRIT has wowed festivals, winning the prestigious Golden Leopard at the 2021 Locarno Film Festival and Best Film at the 2021 Berlanga Awards among others, and Ibarra has been described by Variety as having a “flair for quirky storytelling combined with a terrific eye.” It is a truly unique, powerful and eventually extraordinarily moving film that needs to be watched twice. It also features the most outlandishly appropriate cover of Dolores O’Riordan’s Zombie you’ll ever hear.

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