Fundamentally, Summer 1993, director Simón's debut, becomes a rumination on reconciling with one's own attachment disorder and abandonment issues. The film confronts directly the contradictory feelings and impulses of a child who must assimilate into a new family, but Simón foregoes the bells and whistles of many other family melodramas, crafting instead an extraordinary and beautiful work of grief and memory. Frida is typical of children with attachment disorder: desperately in need of validation from loved ones yet unable to accept it, often leading her to act out. Frida often visits the statue of the Virgin Mary in the backyard, leaving things for her mother, needing assurance that she was loved by someone she now doesn't know. There is no tidy, family-friendly ending suggesting the specter of her mother is there to love her, but Simón is so precise in depicting Frida's gradual, if adolescent, understanding of the paradoxes of love and loss over the summer that, for us watching, her experience is as tactile as the sting of a sunburn.