"The Anarchist's Wife" is the story of Manuela who is left behind when her husband Justo fights for his ideals against Franco's Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War. He is deported to ... See full summary »
"The Anarchist's Wife" is the story of Manuela who is left behind when her husband Justo fights for his ideals against Franco's Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War. He is deported to a concentration camp, and upon his release, continues the fight against nationalism in the French resistance. Years, pass without a word from him, but his wife never gives up hope of seeing him again. Written by
Few films have dealt with the Spanish Civil War as well ad THE ANARCHIST'S WIFE (La Mujer Del Anarquista), written by Ray Loriga and co-director (with Peter Sehr) Marie Noelle. It is a film that shows all aspects of the brutal madness of war, focusing more on the affect that war has on families than merely showing battlegrounds. Combining luxuriously colorful cinematography with archival black and white film clips, this film for once allows the audience to see the inside picture of what happened in Spain of this period.
It is1937 and idealistic radio commentator Justo (the very fine Argentine actor Juan Diego Botto) is committed to the overthrow of Generalissimo Franco as well as being opposed to the outside forces of Hitler and Mussolini that threaten the social justice of his beloved Spain. He is married to the beautiful and loving Manuela (Maria Valverde) and they have a child Paloma. As the tension in Spain builds Justo is captured by Franco's government, members of his family are killed, and despite Manuela's desire to be with her husband she also feels compelled to stay in Spain with her daughter and soon to be born son. Justo is shipped away, spends time in a concentration camp and upon release fights with the French Resistance, only to be sent form prison to prison throughout the duration of the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Manuela continues to believe in Justo's welfare and despite the many years of separation she never stops believing he will return. Many problems arise for Manuela - her home is taken over by the government, she must beg for food, her son dies, and Paloma watches the little family being deserted by the father she no longer remembers. Ultimately Justo returns after many years, but the war and prisons have changed him. The story seeks to demonstrate how difficult it is for families to survive intact in time of war.
The story is well told, clarifying many facts of the time that history has altered. The cast is very large and is uniformly excellent. In addition to Botto and Valverde, Irene Visedo, Ivana Baquero, Nina Hoss, Jean-Marc Barr, Laura Morante, Irene Montalà, Adrià Collado, Biel Durán, and Pere Arquillué provide strong supporting roles. The musical score by Zacarias M. de la Riva adds immensely to the changing atmospheres of this period piece Highly Recommended.
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