At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the nun Maria is forced to flee her convent. She takes refuge in a brothel, until it is liberated by a woman's anarchist group. Maria joins the ... See full summary »
At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the nun Maria is forced to flee her convent. She takes refuge in a brothel, until it is liberated by a woman's anarchist group. Maria joins the group and eventually goes to the front. The women's group faces the problems of fighting not only the nationalists, but also factions on the left seeking to impose a more traditional military structure. Written by
Brian Rawnsley <email@example.com>
What's happened to her?
[When she sees María crying while Pilar is giving her a bath]
She saw the shooting of a bishop.
Since he was a bishop God must be resting his soul now. God is a fascist.
Come on Floren! Stop talking nonsense.
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It's the outset of the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. Anarchy and confusion broke in those first days of the conflict that was to change Spain and scar it forever. The divisions between the communist and fascists are at center stage in this tale which is seen from the feminist viewpoint, since it concentrates on a group of women who are prepared to die for their cause.
Vicente Aranda's epic about the Spanish conflict serves to clarify what triggered it. On the one hand were Franco and his followers, and on the other, the revolutionaries who dreamed about a better society and a more equal one in which all its citizens had a role. Alas, it was only short lived, as history tells us. Utopia, after all, is just that, a dream, at best.
Maria, the nun, quickly understands how little the convent life has helped her to face the hard facts she must face alone. Befriended by the revolutionary women force that is trying to make women aware of the new reality in the country, she learns quickly how wrong she has been, and even though she never takes a rifle to defend the women's cause, she is sympathetic to the women's plight. By the way, even the revolutionary leaders didn't particularly appreciate the contribution of the women and wanted them doing other jobs, but not at the front, fighting alongside them.
Ariadna Gil does a good job as Maria. Ana Belen is intense as Pilar. Victoria Abril plays Floren, the medium that channels a man who tried to kill a royal couple earlier in the century, in a hilarious scene. Juan Sancho, Loles Leon, Jorge Sanz, and Miguel Bose are some of the faces in the large cast.
The film shows an aspect of the Spanish Civil War not shown often and it helps to put in perspective the causes of the conflict.
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