Cuéntame is a great depiction of how history is lived by ordinary people.
Cuéntame is a great depiction of how history is lived by ordinary people. You don't have to have been there to appreciate it, it informs you with a wealth of everyday detail in the sets, characters and conversations. I had seen odd episodes on previous visits to Spain and now I'm here for the year, I'm watching it religiously! And luckily now we're in the fall of 1975 at the end of Francoism and the beginning of the exciting period of the Transition (to democracy). It's fascinating to see all the aspects of society brought out in the different episodes, from the sexual revolution or pop culture to the Communist underground or the many ways people saw the coming political and social changes. Arguments in the local bar or around the dinner table are fascinating. Other aspects include the transformation of Spanish women (and recovery of the rights they lost under Franco), as we see the mother of the house go to university and confront new ideas. As an older woman who has struggled to reach a comfortable status, she is seen as bourgeoise and worse by the other students. The series is full of such revealing details, and the actors all perform very convincingly.
Sometimes Cuéntame hits a nerve, as in the latest episode shown on Nov 8th 2007 on TVE. The Alcántara brothers go to visit their father's grave and talk about how he was killed and where he was buried- a prime example of the importance of the Law of Historical Memory just passed by the Spanish government after long, grinding debate. Antonio- the marvellous Imanol Arias who gives him all his interesting tics and his honesty- once again manages to express the perfect middle ground, slippery as it may be.
I wish there were more series of this kind, and in other countries. An example to be followed!
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