TrustMovies has seen many, many histories of Spain during this period -- several are usually part of each year's Spanish Cinema Now series, with this year no exception -- but few have affected him as deeply as this new film. The reason, he believes, has to do with the fact that all we see here is from a woman's point of view, showing us how everything -- every single thing from life and limb to one's own offspring -- is no longer your own. As one person tells another, "In the new Spain, even your dead don't belong to you."
Inma Cuesta and María León, shown at far and near left, respectively). Pepita has come to Madrid from Cordoba to find work so that she can visit and help Tensi, who is pregnant and in prison. Think of Franco's Spain as something with a level of evil somewhere between our McCarthy-era blacklisting witch hunts and what Hitler's Germany did to Europe's Jews. In post-Civil War Spain, the cruelty, torture and death meted out to Communists and supposed Commie sympathizers affected husbands, wives and entire families.
Marc Clotet, above, are either those working for the return of the Republic or Franco's minions. Yet even here, and regarding both men and women, the filmmakers allow for human frailty. While some of the people we meet, including the military brass, prison guards, priests and nuns, are black indeed, others fall somewhere along the usual bell curve of mankind's character.