Watchlist: En Tu Ausencia

En Tu Ausencia (2008) is a Spanish film that follows 13-year-old Pablo who is a quiet, lonely boy with a troubled past.  On a quiet country road, just outside of the village, Pablo meets Paco, an oddly calm, well dressed stranger whose car just broke down. Nevertheless, he seems more interested in the boy than fixing his problem. At first Pablo maintains a cautious distance from the stranger, vaguely heeding his fellow villagers’ advice to keep his distance. However, the boy’s subconscious quest to find understanding of his dark past and guilt makes him lose all of his protective layers. He sees a new friend in the man, someone he can open up to and feel valued by, almost like a replacement father. As Pablo’s affection grows for the man, he is unknowingly and blindly being lead toward a tragedy that will scar him for life.

The movie features a stellar performance by 13-year-old Spaniard Gonzalo Sánchez Salas (who apparently performed some of the musical soundtrack as well) as Pablo, a fatherless boy with a fixation on a mysterious stranger.