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Juan José Ballesta,
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Álex de la Iglesia
2001: men without jobs, in the port city of Vigo. Six men worked in a shipyard, now shuttered. They pass the time at La Naval, a bar opened by one of them after the yard closed. They face their futures in makeshift ways: Rico has his bar and a sharp 15-year-old daughter, Reina has become a watchman and a moralizer, Lino fills out job applications, Amador drinks heavily and talks of his wife's return; José is married to Ana, who works at a cannery and tires of being the breadwinner amidst José's emasculated moodiness; Santa, the group's conscience and troublemaker, occasionally fantasizes about Australia. In truth, all are joined like Siamese twins, adrift. Written by
A Bitter and Sad Worldwide Contemporary Story, With Magnificent Performances
In an industrial city in Spain, five unemployed middle-aged friends daily meet in a bar, whose owner was also a former employee of the local shipyard, for drinking and small talk. Santa (Javier Barden) is their rebel leader, who dreams to move to Australia, and is being sued by the owner of the shipyard for breaking a 8,000 pesetas light. The insecure José (Luis Tosar) feels inferiority complex of his wife Ana (Nieve the Medina), who is supporting their home with a temporary work in a tuna can factory. Paulino (José Ángel Egido) is permanently trying to find a job through unsuccessful applications. The Russian Serguei (Serge Riaboukine) studied in Soviet Union to be an astronaut and seems to accept his life status. The depressed Amador (Celso Bugallo) misses his wife, who left him some time ago. For all of them, each jobless idle day looks like a Sunday.
"Los Lunes al Sol" is a bitter and sad worldwide contemporary story, with magnificent performances. I am marine engineer and Rio de Janeiro is the greatest Brazilian pole of naval construction. In the 80's and 90's, I saw many people of this sector, including friends and colleagues, losing their jobs and many of them changing their professions with the crisis in this sector. This type of situation happened in many other economical sectors, and Brazil has presently about a ten percent unemployment rate. I feel very sorrow for those who lost their jobs, and the large number of street vendors and slums in my hometown, associated to very low wages, reflect our present situation. The universe of Santa and his friends may be extended too to many other countries and sectors of the economy, therefore it is very easy to sympathize and understand the drama of the characters. This impressive film is also very well directed and watching it is a worthwhile experience, mainly for the younger generations. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Segunda-Feira ao Sol" ("Monday in the Sun")
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