Elena Knows Ending Explained – Who killed Rita?

By Jessica Fontaine
Published: November 25, 2023
Elena Knows Ending Explained
Elena Knows | Image via Netflix

Elena Knows is an Argentinian drama film on Netflix directed by Anahí Berneri and based on the book of the same name by Claudia Piñeiro. It follows Elena, a mother who searches for the killer of her daughter Rita, despite her rapidly progressing Parkinson’s disease. Elena refuses to believe that Rita died by suicide, despite the police’s opinion, and assumes the role of detective to do right by her. As she searches for answers, she remembers her rocky relationship with Rita, including their positive times as well as their arguments. Elena is forced to confront the fact that she wasn’t the best mother, and the film’s ending reveals who killed Rita as a heartbreaking culmination of these personal themes.

Elena Knows Ending Explained

Elena is adamant that Rita was murdered. However, she learns from the police that Rita’s doctor prescribed antidepressants to her. Elena does not believe Rita could have been depressed and maintains that there was foul play.

In a flashback, Rita is told she must become her “mother’s mother” by the doctor, which makes Rita stressed about taking care of Elena. In addition, Elena finds a business card for a nursing home, suspecting that Rita had planned to put her there instead of continuing to take care of her.

Throughout Elena Knows Elena searches for people to accuse of killing Rita. She angrily accuses a student of writing “virgin” on the walls of her house and bullying Rita. Eventually, she finds that there probably wasn’t foul play in Rita’s death at all.

Who killed Rita?

Elena does her best to find answers, despite the mobility issues that come with her Parkinson’s disease. The priest at the local church, Juan, tells Elena that he found Rita hanging from the bell tower on a rainy day. However, Elena tells Juan that Rita never went to church on rainy days because she was terrified of storms.

Juan says Rita stopped coming to confession. Elena accuses him of taking advantage of her, feeding her illusions about the afterlife, and won’t listen to Juan’s claims that she is just angry and distraught about Rita’s death.

At the end of the film, Elena visits the home of Rita’s old friend, Isabel. Isabel claims that Elena came to her house to find comfort. Isabel also seems to imply that Rita committed suicide so she wouldn’t have to take care of Elena. Remembering the past several years with her daughter, Elena realizes that Rita’s death was a suicide after all.

Elena sobs, saying she was a good mother who always took care of Rita. Isabel says, “You did what you could.” Elena says she wants to live, despite being without Rita and having Parkinson’s.

How does Elena Knows end?

At first, Elena Knows presents itself as a mystery about a death that was presumed a suicide but is probably a murder. However, Elena only believed Rita was murdered because she couldn’t admit how much pain and sadness she caused her daughter.

Further, Elena didn’t come to terms with the fact that Rita was overwhelmed and depressed about the commitment to taking care of Elena. As she already struggled with mental health issues, she couldn’t handle seeing her mother’s health deteriorate.

Elena Knows is heartbreaking in that Elena’s denial of her unstable relationship with Rita led her to believe that she was murdered when really she ended her own life because of the burdens she felt.

What did you think of the ending of Elena Knows? Comment below.

Endings Explained, Movies - Ending Explained, Netflix, Streaming Service