CINEMA & THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR
September 4 - 22
The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) was not just a Spanish affair. Around the world filmmakers of the time, and many others since then, have found it impossible not to engage with this terrible period. In their many different ways, artists like Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Alain Resnais, André Malraux, Pablo Picasso, Paul Elouard or George Orwell all reacted to what was happening in Spain, drawing attention to it through their work.
With the triumph of Franco's troops Spain entered a dark period of repression and censorship. There was no space for cinema to engage with the recent war and the tyranny of the new system - though some filmmakers did manage to get around the censors and present visions of a Spain rather different from the regime's.
Following the death of the Generalisimo in 1975, Spain began to explore the Civil War and its legacy in earnest. For some filmmakers artistic freedom meant freedom to look back and re-examine a distorted historical period. Others began to offer celluloid visions of a new bright future.
Cinema and The Spanish Civil War offers different views of the period and its consequences. There are documentaries and films that look directly at the war itself, as well as films that use the period as a backdrop to other stories. These have been produced in film cultures as diverse as Hollywood, Spain, France, UK and East Germany over a span of 70 years.
Seventy years after the war's end, this series represents seventy years of cinema trying to do justice to these historical events. --Joana Granero, Curator, Cinema and the Spanish Civil War and the London Spanish Film Festival
Special thanks to the Embassy of Spain, Washington, DC, and the British Film Institute for making this series possible.
AFI Member passes will be accepted at all screenings in the Cinema & the Spanish Civil War series.
Passes for Cinema & The Spanish Civil War!
Do you want to see as many of the films in the Cinema & The Spanish Civil War series as possible? Buy a series pass! Passes are good for one admission to every title in the series. Available only at the AFI Silver Theatre box office.
Pass Price: $50 General Admission / $30 AFI Members and Students
LAND AND FREEDOM
[Tierra y libertad]
In early 1936,a young unemployed communist leaves his hometown of Liverpool to join the fight against fascism with the International Brigades in Spain. With characteristic commitment, director Ken Loach tells a story of one individual who reflects the experiences of so many British men who went to fight in Spain. The result is a powerful, moving and realistic film. (Note courtesy of British Film Institute)
DIR Ken Loach; SCR Jim Allen; PROD Rebecca O'Brien. UK/Spain/Germany/Italy, 1995, color, 109 min. In English, Spanish and Catalan with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Friday, September 4, 7:00; Monday, September 7, 7:15
THE SPANISH EARTH
FREE screenings - just added!
Written and narrated by Ernest Hemingway, this film shows people's daily lives in their struggle to survive as well as the Republican army at the front. Both John Dos Passos and Orson Welles left this project because of differences with Hemingway. (Note courtesy of Film Society of Lincoln Center)
DIR Joris Ivens; SCR John Dos Passos, Ernest Hemingway. US, 1937, b&w, 52 min. In English, Spanish and German with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Saturday, September 5, 1:30; Monday, September 7, 2:30
Tickets are free and only available at the AFI Silver box office on the day of each screening. Reservations cannot be made by phone. There is a limit of four tickets per person, on a first-come, first-served basis. The AFI Silver box office opens 30 minutes before the first film of each day.
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
An American enlisted to the International Brigades joins a group of peasants who'll help him to blow up a bridge. With them there's beautiful Maria (Ingrid Bergman in her first color movie) with whom he will fall in love. A romantic look at the war, the film was adapted from Ernest Hemingway's book by Dudley Nichols, but the screenplay was substantially depoliticized. Nine Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. (Note courtesy of British Film Institute)
DIR/PROD Sam Wood; SCR Dudley Nichols, based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway. US, 1943, color, 168 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Saturday, September 5, 3:00; Sunday, September 6, 4:00; Monday, September 7, 4:00
THE WAR IS OVER
[La guerre est finie]
Director Alain Resnais follows the troubles of Diego (Yves Montand), a middle-aged member of the Spanish Communist Party in exile. Written by Jorge Semprún, himself a member of the Party in France, it constitutes a powerful statement about memory, commitment and faith--and managed to intensely irritate the Spanish government, which asked--unsuccessfully--for the film to be withdrawn from Cannes in 1966. (Note courtesy of British Film Institute)
DIR Alain Resnais; SCR Jorge Semprún; PROD Anatole Dauman, Gisèle Rebillon, Catherine Winter. France/Sweden, 1966, b&w, 121 min. In French and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Saturday, September 5, 6:30; Sunday, September 6, 1:00
DEMONS IN THE GARDEN
[Demonios en el jardín]
Secret loves, jealousies and betrayals converge against a backdrop of post-war Spain with a child--the age of writer-director Manuel Aragón himself at the time the film is set--providing testimony. Blessed with outstanding performances by two of the finest Spanish actresses, Aragon portrays the hypocrisy, severity and miseries of a family that has achieved economic success in the black market and supports Franco's dictatorship. (Note courtesy of British Film Institute)
DIR/SCR Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón; SCR/PROD Luis Megino. Spain, 1982, color, 97 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. RATED R
Sunday, September 6, 7:15; Tuesday, September 8, 7:00
BICYCLES ARE FOR THE SUMMER
[Las bicicletas son para el verano]
One of the best portraits of day-to-day civilian life during the war. Rather than focusing on the conflict, the film--based on a play by the great actor, director and writer Fernando Fernán Gómez--follows the ups and downs of a middle-class family and its neighbors during the war years; how they survive and adapt to circumstances and-- with political alignment barely registering-- their wish for it all to end and peace to arrive. (Note courtesy of British Film Institute)
DIR Jaime Chávarri; SCR Fernando Fernán Gómez, Enrique Paradas, Salvador Maldonado, Rafael Sepúlveda. Spain, 1984, color, 103 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Friday, September 11, 7:00; Sunday, September 13, 1:00
FIVE CARTRIDGES [Fünf Patronenhülsen]
Five brigadiers have to deliver an important message, torn into five pieces and hidden in empty bullet shells. In constant fear of the enemy and dehydrated, the men start an odyssey across the Spanish Sierras. With powerful music by Joachim Werzlau, this film was shot in Bulgaria. (Note courtesy of British Film Institute)
DIR Frank Beyer; SCR Walter Gorrisch. East Germany, 1960, b&w, 87 min. In German with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Saturday, September 12, 5:00; Sunday, September 13, 3:15
THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE
[El espíritu de la colmena]
"...When I look around me and I see so much that's missing, so much that's destroyed and also so much sadness, something tells me that we've lost, with those things, our capacity to feel life." Victor Erice's modern classic about a family in quiet crisis offers a subtle critique of the damage caused by the civil war as seen through the eyes of a little girl, with hauntingly poetic images. (Note courtesy of British Film Institute)
DIR/SCR Victor Erice; SCR Ángel Fernández Santos; SCR/PROD Francisco J. Querejeta. Spain, 1973, color, 95 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Saturday, September 12, 7:00; Tuesday, September 15, 7:00
SONGS FOR AFTER A WAR
[Canciones para después de una guerra]
A documentary about popular songs in the first 15 years of the Franco dictatorship (1939-1953), this film montages archival images to the rhythms of popular music of the time, featuring such emblematic figures of popular culture as singer Estrellita Castro and bullfighter Manolete, along with scenes of hunger and Falangist meetings, and forms a subtle mosaic of postwar Spain. (Note courtesy of British Film Institute)
DIR/SCR Basilio Martín Patino. Spain, 1976, color and b&w, 115 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sunday, September 13, 5:10; Monday, September 14, 7:00
After a long period of trench conflict, a routine atmosphere grows among Republican soldiers. Monotony is broken when Nationalists announce that they're going to celebrate the Virgin's Day with a bullfight. Written by director Luis Garcia Berlanga's regular collaborator, black comedy specialist Rafael Azcona, the film looks, with good humor and conciliatory optimism, at the sometimes absurd relationship between both sides, with soldiers recruited by chance, depending on the territory they were in and where the front was. (Note courtesy of British Film Institute)
DIR/SCR Luis García Berlanga; SCR Rafael Azcona; PROD Alfredo Matas. Spain, 1985, color, 122 min. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Friday, September 18, 9:45; Saturday, September 19, 3:00
[La lengua de las mariposas]
Written by José Luis Cuerda in collaboration with Rafael Azcona, this is the touching story of a child growing up in a small town in Galicia when the war starts, and the special relationship he builds with his teacher, Fernando Fernán Gómez. A poignant description of the strength of fear and violence, and of impotence and sadness in the face of betrayal. (Note courtesy of British Film Institute)
DIR/SCR José Luis Cuerda; SCR Rafael Azcona, Manuel Rivas; PROD Monica Martinez, Myriam Mateos. Spain, 1999, color, 96 min. In Spanish and Latin with English subtitles. RATED R
Saturday, September 19, 1:00; Sunday, September 20, 1:00
Named after one of the favorite songs of the Republican army, this film relates the adventures and misadventures of two Republican artists touring Spain during the civil war who enter rebel territory by mistake...In contrast to some of Carlos Saura's previous films, where the war was presented with brutality, here he looks at it with some humor--much aided by the comic skills of the two lead actors. (Note courtesy of British Film Institute)
DIR/SCR Carlos Saura; SCR Rafael Azcona, José Sanchís Sinisterra; PROD Andrés Vicente Gomez. Spain/Italy, 1990, color, 102 min. In Spanish, Polish, and Italian with English subtitles. RATED PG-13
Saturday, September 19, 5:30; Sunday, September 20, 3:00
THE GOOD FIGHT: THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN BRIGADE IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR
A moving documentary about the 3,200 American men and women who fought alongside other international brigades in the Spanish Civil War. Narrated by radio legend Studs Terkel, the film looks at the reasons and the dreams behind their decision to leave behind the safety of the United States, their experiences at the front and the return home when the war was coming to an inevitably tragic end. (Note courtesy of British Film Institute)
DIR/SCR/PROD Noel Buckner, Mary Dore, Sam Sills. US, 1984, b&w and color, 98 min. In English. NOT RATED
Sunday, September 20, 5:15; Tuesday, September 22, 7:00