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London Spanish Film Festival 2020
23 Sep - 3 Oct|
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Now in its 16th edition, the festival will treat us with a selection of some of the best and most anticipated films from Spain and by Spanish talent.
Highlights include While at War by Academy Award winner Alejandro Amenàbar and a special screening of Luis Buñuel’s Tristana starring Catherine Deneuve, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film which is still as scandalous as it was a half century ago.
- 23rd of September: The invisible. Elsa, Julia and Amelia are three middle-aged women who meet regularly to walk and talk and through their conversations we learn about their lives, their aspirations and their problems. Extremely rich in dialogues, the film is obviously been thoroughly written with utmost care and it is thanks to that superb work carried out by Querejeta herself with her long-time collaborator Santos Mercero, and that of the actresses, that it manages to be compelling from beginning to end and shed light on some problems women face at this age.
- 23rd of September: Ojos Negros. A teenager is sent to spend the summer with her grandmother and aunt in a remote Spanish town called Ojos Negros. There she meets other teenagers and learns about her own mother’s childhood and family and tastes the freedom of movement new to her. The experience will be enriching and life-changing for her. A university project backed and partly funded by a production company, this is a potent film that offers some magical moments. The film has been put together with much care and attention in a superb work of editing.
- 24th of September: Once Again. Una vez más takes us to the marvelous city of Seville, where Abril, an Architect working and living in London, has gone to the funeral of her grandmother. There she meets her friends and her ex-boyfriend, whom she has not seen since she left five years before. A beautiful meditation on life against the set of the photogenic city, Guiller Rojas’s opera prima as a director is also a portrait of a generation of young Spaniards who are more European than ever before and whose lives are full of uncertainties due to the various crises.
- 25th of September: 75 days. It was a real truly horrifying case in Spain in 1992 and probably the most mediatic. Three 14 and 15 year old girls disappear one night and their bodies are discovered three months later. Nearly thirty years after the case of the Alcàsser girls, Marc Romero takes the case and, in a nearly documentary-like rigorous film, takes us with emotion but avoiding melodrama and morbosity, through one of the saddest criminal cases of Spanish history rather focusing on the investigation and the “clumsiness” and ineptitud with parts of it were carried.
- 26th-28th of September: While at War. Alejandro Amenábar’s seventh feature film takes us back to the days of the Spanish Civil War outbreak and Miguel de Unamuno’s fight in Salamanca against everyone to stand for what he believed was right. Not just another Spanish Civil War film, While at War goes beyond the depiction of one of its chapters, but shows the dangers of political passivity and the dignity of the famous philosopher and writer who fought angainst everyone, right and left, to stand for what he believed in.
- 27th-29th of September: Tristana. Now a classic, exactly 50 years ago Luis Buñuel’s Tristana caused a stir with his exploration of decadence, repression and desire in Toledo, which was based on Benito Pérez Galdós’s novel by the same title and written in 1892. Tristana is a young woman who remains orphan and goes to the house of don Lope under his protection. Don Lope falls under the spell of her and takes up the role of protector/husband. Things start changing when she falls in love with a young artist and the until then submissive Tristana starts finding her own voice.
- 27th of September: A window to the sea. María is a middle-aged woman who discovers she’s suffering from an illness that will probably be terminal. Before starting the treatment in Bilbao, she decides to make a long-wished for trip to Greece with two friends. From Athens they go to a remote island and there she decides to stay. As in Ori, Jiménez’s first feature film, there’s a poetic quality in A Window to the Sea’s slow pace and silences, which help us understand Maria’s attitude and decisions. Against complacency and easy emotion, the director opts for an elegant and dinified treatment of sadness and hope.
- 3rd of October: Ferdinand. Oscar nominated animation Ferdinand takes us on an adventure with a young bull, who escapes from a training camp in rural Spain, after his father never returns from a showdown with a matador. Adopted by a girl who lives on a farm, Ferdinand’s peaceful existence comes crashing down when the authorities return him to his former captors. With help from a wisecracking goat and three hedgehogs, the giant but gentle bovine must find a way to break free before he squares off against El Primero, the famous bullfighter who never loses.