A harrowing drama spun from the most mundane material, this 2003 Spanish feature by Iciar Bollain follows an attractive but meek young woman (Laia Marull) as she tries to escape her violent husband (Luis Tosar). The early scenes build tension through a pervasive sense of dread: the woman moves in with her sister and finds a fulfilling job as a museum guide, the husband tracks her down, and she’s so petrified in his presence that the contours of their marriage are obvious. But the film really distinguishes itself in the second half, when the husband unexpectedly joins a therapy group and tries to learn to handle his volcanic rage. By allowing us to sympathize with him, Bollain fully illuminates the wife’s confused feelings–hope that he’ll change and fear that he can’t. In Spanish with subtitles. 109 min. Music Box.