Haunting, mesmerising, unforgettable, beautiful… All these adjectives and many more have been flung at The Duke in his time. But whilst The Duke may fit the criteria required should one wish to be paid any such compliments, it would be fair to say that Victor Erice's 1973 Spirit Of The Beehive, or El Espíritu de la colmena, does a reasonable job of fulfilling at least two and a half of them.
What The Beehive Film concerns itself with, is being about "the childhood" and "the humanity" and so on and so forth. Other weighty issues concerning the "existence". Don't worry though, if you think maybe it'll be difficult for to keep up with all the necessary pondering, since Erice has the decency to ensure that nothing of much importance occurs for at least three quarters of the running time, meaning you could feasibly have reached any number of profound realizations by the time you need to read another subtitle.
What happened, was that whilst General Franco was scowling about the place and generally being, in the fabled words of Shakespeare, "A right motherfucker", his countryman Erice was making a film about two young children go to see Frankenstein in a little cinema during 1940. For one of the children in particular, a lass by the name of Ana, the film has a profound effect, and following conversations about said cinematic wonder with her sister, she comes to believe that the spirit of Boris Karlof's lurching creation lives in an abandoned bungalow outside the village.
The Beehive Film is, at its core, a meditative, hypnotic, eyes-of-a-child type deal, allowing the viewer to observe the world with the kind of awe and reverence that folks tend to forget about once things like mortgages and pubic hair come into the equation.
This sense of childlike innocence is applied also to our understanding of the adult characters, in that we know very little about them. The father and mother rarely communicate with one another, the latter preferring to post letters to some mystery individual, and the former tending his glass beehive. We sense there might be some other shenanigans going on, but we're not old enough to be burdened with such unnecessary information.
All we need to be concerned with is playing around the abandoned house, and looking down a well, and then some stuff about mushrooms.