As in the novel of the same title from Camilo Jose Cela, "La Colmena" is a sad composition with the stories of many people in the Madrid of 1942, just the postwar of the spanish civil war. ... See full summary »
For Moncho, it's an idyllic year: he starts school, he has a wonderful teacher, he makes a friend in Roque, he begins to figure out some of the mysteries of Eros, and, with his older ... See full summary »
José Luis Cuerda
Fernando Fernán Gómez,
A platoon of mismatched republican soldiers cross the front-line to steal the bull that the enemy is going to fight on the saint patron date of the village. In addition to ruining the ... See full summary »
Luis García Berlanga
In a small spanish town, a group of old ladies decide to celebrate Christmas Eve with a "Sit a poor man at your table" dinner: each wealthy household of the town will have a homeless person... See full summary »
Luis García Berlanga
José Luis López Vázquez,
Paquita and her brother Venancio, both single and childish, live in a small town near Madrid. Their bossy eldest sister Ignacia, also an old maid, dominates them. One night, Paquita hears ... See full summary »
Fernando Fernán Gómez
El Bola, a 12 year old boy a.k.a. "Pellet" is a 12 year old boy raised in a violent and sordid environment. Embarrassed by his family life, he avoids becoming close to classmates. The ... See full summary »
Juan José Ballesta,
The movie tells the story of a family of comedians that work in the towns of Spain during the 40's and 50's. Life gets very tough for them since they cannot compete any longer with cinema. ... See full summary »
Somewhere in the spanish country, in the 60s. Paco and his wife Régula are very poor. They work as tenant farmers for a very wealthy landowner. They have 3 children. One is backward. The others can not got to school because the master "needs" their work. When Regula's brother is fired from where he has worked for 61 years, he settles down at their little place... An attack against the archaism of the spanish country of the 60s.Written by
In the opening scenes of this movie, I couldn't tell what century it was. The peasant family living in their hovel with no electricity or running water and their subservient attitude toward the master made me wonder if this movie was taking place in the 19th century. But no, a car appeared, a model from the 1960s, so I knew that it took place in relatively recent times.
Filmed in muted, grayish tones reminiscent of a Goya painting, this film gives one an idea of what life must have been like, not only for Spanish peasants in the Franco era but also for medieval serfs and slaves in the pre-Civil War South. The master and mistress treat their own whims as more important than the peasants' needs, require them to act and speak in a subservient manner, act as if small favors are huge concessions (The family gets to move into a house with electricity!), and literally treat the men of the family as if they were hunting dogs, forcing them to fetch the game that the master spends an inordinate amount of time shooting. In one case, a man is forced to fetch while trying to recover from a broken leg. When foreign visitors criticize the master and mistress for their treatment of the peasants, they make a big show of demonstrating that the peasants are happy and can write their own names (but only because they have just been taught).
But the world is changing, and even the meekest peasant may reach his limit...
Unfortunately, this film has never been released on DVD for Region 1, and the Region 2 version is out of print, so few people will be able to see this brutal but fascinating glimpse of the twilight of an era when Spanish society was composed of countless little dictatorships.
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