Poison for the fairies

Posted by Alyssa Polaris on

One of the founding members of my secret society on Patreon has requested literature, music, and film recommendations

As I was writing the list, I felt the strong urge to add an explanation on why and how each one of these works of art became my favorites, some even life-altering.

I do not wish to burden you with extremely long posts in which I boast about a thousand obscure songs, movies, and novels, so I've decided to give each one their own post making it more palatable for those of you who want to read them and easily skippable for those of you who do not.

Let's start with the first film that made a lasting impression on me.

This one is so old and difficult to find (specially with subtitles) that I feel like revealing plot elements is okay.

*Spoilers ahead*

"Poison for the fairies" (Veneno para la hadas)

This 1984 Mexican fantasy-horror film is responsible for my dark feminine awakening. It was released before I was born but it holds as one of my all-time favourites.

It depicts the strange friendship between two little girls. I was about 10 years old when I watched it, around the same age as Veronica and Flavia, the central characters of this film.

Veronica is a lonely orphan living with her very old and ill grandmother. She spends most of her time under the care of her nanny, who tells her stories about witches and magic. These stories serve as comforting fantasies of power for Veronica, who is often mocked and ostracised for her strangeness by other girls in her parochial school.

Flavia, on the other hand, is an aristocratic girl with a much a more grounded perspective of reality, but through a series of fortutious circumstances, she begins to believe Veronica's claims that she is in league with the devil and in her way to become the most evil witch ever. Despite Veronica being the villain of their story, she is not entirely developed as evil, but as the complex portrait of a troubled girl that preys on her only friend's naïveté.

The morbid details of Veronica's manipulation tactics and the film's overall gothic aesthetic are contrasted with charming, coming-of-age moments and the loccus amoenus in which the girls' search for ingredients to make poison for the fairies, which are said to be the natural enemies of witches.

The story is told entirely from a child's perspective, with the camera work enhancing this perspective by never showing the faces of adults, but this is by no means a kid's movie. It is a fairy tale for adults that's all the more disturbing in its bleak realism.

By the end, Veronica seals her fate becoming the witch she set out to be, and as is with most witch tales, the story of Veronica and Flavia ends with fire and death.

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