You can't go back is the theme of this movie, and it appears that as a viewing experience, it is determined to prove its point to anyone wishing to revisit Spain by seeing this movie. I spent the summer of 1983 in Barcelona (where this movie is set) and was hoping to get a feeling of revisiting the Spain of my youth, as did Dr. Foster in the movie, but was let down in large part by the amateurishness of the production. "Espana otra vez" also rates low on the tourism scale; you won't see much of the picture postcard Spain in this, nor get much a sense of the 1960's, the time period during which it is set.
But, to be fair, that isn't the goal of the film. As a serious study of a middle-aged American doctor who returns to Spain (where he served in the Spanish Civil War) hoping to see old friends and falling for the daughter of one of them, the story does have its merits. The acting is decent, but the English language bits of dialog feel like they were dubbed in, even though the star is an American who spent the latter part of his life in Spain. The cinematography attempts a certain amount of creativity, but you get the feeling that the producers were on a pretty limited budget and didn't have the option of re-shooting scenes. This is also not one of those movies that can advertise "no animals were harmed during the filming of this picture" as there is a fairly graphic depiction of the snuffing of a pig preparatory to butchering, but it's no worse than what you see working on a farm. I enjoyed seeing Enrique "el cojo", who features prominently in the cigarette song near the beginning of "Bizet's Carmen" (Francesco Rosi, 1984), as Maria's over-protective dance master.
I wish this movie were better, but it is still somewhat recommendable.
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