I bet my life many of the commentators who show up in these pages are very young people and therefore haven´t got an accurate knowledge of some historical facts (they´re not to blame - the mass media have made them subject of a nicely crafted manipulation), and another reason to think so is that they can manage a computer (good for them!) and most people who are over 40 or 50 cannot do it. Well, I´m an exception to the rule: I´m a war veteran born in 1919 and I can deal with Internet myself. I hope this makes my word worthy of credit and doesn´t make believe that this comment is only the bull shot by an "ignorant". (Oh, what a delicious and respectful expression!).
I recognize that this film has some mistakes: it does NOT lie, but it doesn´t tell the whole truth either. That is the greatest error of the relatively scarce films made in Spain about the Spanish Civil war in the post-war - they are too kind. The first time I saw this movie in a theatre I remembered many of the facts depicted on it because I lived them personally, but I noticed that the director had passed on the Civil War. Sáenz De Heredia (whom I had the enormous fortune to meet) was not only a first-rate director, but also a nice and deeply Christian human being, and he didn´t want to re-open the wounds that had already healed, in spite of the thousands of people who had died during the war because of the hatred towards their Catholic faith. He only wanted to make a film about someone he knew and admired sincerely. It wasn´t necessary to do this movie, but it was done. Why? Because they who made it wanted the Chief of Spanish State (NOT the dictator, I must insist) to be better-known by the people, including the youngest ones. And, in my humble opinion, they were successful.
As an American would say, this film is "goddamnedly" well done: the photography is excellent, the script is accurate, the documentary style is nicely built and the voice-overs (especially Ángel Picazo´s) ring true, unlike those we hear today in many TV and film documentaries. And that´s because what they say is true. Things were really that way. If the statement which claims that in that era nobody could do, say or think what they wanted, how do you explain the fact that many of us are still here? We should have been killed or have spent several years in jail, as it happened in the USSR. Would it have been possible for some directors who were hyper-critical with the regime - like Bardem or Berlanga, for example - to make their films in the USSR? And how can you explain the queue that was formed to give the last farewell to Franco when he died? Oh, come on!
No lies, no propaganda, no "ignorance", no hate, no manipulation at all. Just the plain and simple truth.
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