In 1919, demobbed, Gerald Brenan rents a house for a year in Yegen, a village in Alpujarra. He has little but a love of reading and writing. He's soon the center of attention from his maid,...
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The story of a man who fooled an entire country. A tale of cheats and impostors, taking its inspiration from true facts and from one of the most intriguing characters of recent decades: the spy Francisco Paesa.
Miquel García Borda
In 1919, demobbed, Gerald Brenan rents a house for a year in Yegen, a village in Alpujarra. He has little but a love of reading and writing. He's soon the center of attention from his maid, María, who has a marriageable daughter, Ángeles; from Paco, a man who decides to guide Gerald in the ways of the village and of love; from the town's priest, his landlady, her friend who loves St. Teresa, and, from Juliana, a teen beauty who's the daughter of a witch. Gerald must sort out his feelings and face down the machinations of the town's women, who map a future he doesn't want. What he wants is romance. How far from his class and country can he venture, and for how long? Written by
Al Sur de Granada: an Englishman in the Alpujarras.
This movie is the cinematographic transposition of a beautiful autobiographic work: British writer (and historian) Gerald Brenan wrote a very sincere piece about his six years in the Alpujarras and everything shown in the picture is true, including people's names or the birth of his Spanish daughter Miranda Helen.
The film, which is very nice, focuses on Brenan's story and doesn't show a great deal of the Alpujarras, which is a pity.
Educated readers however could draw an interesting comparison between the present title and 'Tortilla Flat' or its sequels. Both Steinbeck's and Brenan's works (which are contemporary) describe Anglo/American people living in a Spanish/Mexican environment but besides what these stories have in common, Steinbeck's ones are fictional while Brenan's is real.
And someone could actually dislike how the Englishman behave: I personally think he was too young. Being older and more experienced, maybe he would have made other choices.
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