Filmmaker Péter Forgács compiles home movies by a family of Catalan industrialists who have documented their lives as their homeland is besieged by labor unrest, the collapse of the ...
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Filmmaker Péter Forgács compiles home movies by a family of Catalan industrialists who have documented their lives as their homeland is besieged by labor unrest, the collapse of the monarchy, the rise of anarchism, and ultimately the Spanish Civil War.Written by
This is a beautiful retelling of the Spanish Civil War using footage taken by two amateur film-makers in the 1930s: each of them on either side of the divide at war. With what looks like very lo-fi, scarce and unconnected material, the director puts together a beautiful description of how citizens are forced into taking sides at war.
What I find absolutely magical about this account is how it weaves macro and micro stories together: the trickle-up and trickle-down effects between large-scale political, history book history events and the personal stories of these two families.
The issue of the Spanish civil war has been largely silenced since Franco's death in 1975. For someone who grew up in the post-Franco world it is extremely refreshing to watch a film about this mysterious war that no-one dared to talk about for the sake of reconciliation. Despite this silence and the transition to a well-functioning democracy, the divide between the two Spains is still clearly visible. The film therefore benefits from the fact that it is an outsider who tells the story, a Hungarian who comes in with his own experience of political turmoil and life in a defeated country.
It is definitely a film that should be seen in a cinema rather than on video, if only so as to be transported to the 1930s. If you do watch it on video, make sure to turn off the lights and all mobile phones.
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