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Based on a novel by one of the greater Spanish writers of the XX century (Miguel Delibes), "La Guerra de Papá" (Dad's War) tells the story of a typical day for a 3-year-old boy in 1964. The little boy, played by Lolo García, spends his day running around playing with his 5-year-old brother and interacting with the adults in the household (mother, servants...). Through his innocent eyes we see a portrait of Spanish society in the 60's (with its many conflicts and contradictions). The film is also a very good character study of the adults and of the boy himself, who feels jealous because he is no longer the youngest child in the house, since he has a 1-year-old sister.
Don't be misled by the low ratings: this is a movie to enjoy. The fantastic novel by Delibes gets turned here into a well-developed script with an especially terrific dialog work. A social allegory from the beginning to the end. Through the eyes of a "unthrowned prince", a 3-year-old boy, the movie portraits the dull pain of a whole society in change: the outdated family model, the new challenges against the old traditions, the nonsense of Franco's war-obsessed Spain, the fear of future changes and the muted discomfort and tension between all social classes. Even the innocence of a child is finally seen in disbelief, letting the viewer share the pain of an uncertain world. Great script, good acting (GREAT in the case of the incredible child actor Lolo García and the very young Verónica Forqué). A movie that portraits an era in Spain's history, a perfect document to any student of our "transition" to democracy.
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