Paulino and Carmela are husband and wife, troubadours touring the countryside during the Spanish Civil War. They are Republicans, and with their mute assistant, Gustavete, they journey into... See full summary »
Paulino and Carmela are husband and wife, troubadours touring the countryside during the Spanish Civil War. They are Republicans, and with their mute assistant, Gustavete, they journey into rebel territory by mistake. They are arrested, fear a firing squad, and receive a reprieve from an Italian Fascist commander who loves the theatre. He arranges a performance for his troops, bargaining with Paulino to stage a burlesque of the republic in exchange for the actors' freedom. Will the fiery and patriotic Carmela consent? Written by
I only wanted to say that it was not until the second time that I watched it that I began to really appreciate the complexity of the story, is web of ironies, and the extent of the moral dilemmas with which the different characters really had to confront and deal with...and how in the end, it was really the lack of the husband's moral backbone that nearly bankrupted Carmela's (i.e, Spain's) morality and dignity...a dignity that was redeemed in the very end of the movie, but only through Carmela's very own blood - a very clear Christ-figure reference; one consistent with western literature, and also very consistent with much of the film's Communist/Republican/Atheist vs. Franco-Fascist/Vatican-Backed/Fervent Catholic sub plot.
Carmen Maura was brilliant in the complex role of Carmela, as were the two male supporting actors in their respective roles. I only wish that the subtitles would have done the rich Spanish dialogue more justice. So many nuances had to be left out, but those I suppose are the limitations inherent in subtitles, no matter how competently they may be done.
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