Miguel de Uamuno, a Spanish writer and philosopher, is forced into exile in Fuerteventura (in the Canary Islands) by dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera in 1924. There he will make friends with...
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Miguel de Uamuno, a Spanish writer and philosopher, is forced into exile in Fuerteventura (in the Canary Islands) by dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera in 1924. There he will make friends with some locals, on whom he will exercise decisive influence. Years later, when the Spanish civil war began in 1936, he will be forced to face the insurgents at the University of Salamanca.Written by
Enjoyable and engaging Unamuno's biography , focusing on his exile in Fuerteventura
This Spanish writer and philosopher Unamuno was removed from his two university chairs by the dictator General Miguel Primo de Rivera in 1924, over the protests of other Spanish intellectuals. As a result of his vociferous criticisms of Primo de Rivera's dictatorship, he lived in exile until 1930, first banished to Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands; his house there is now a museum,as is his house in Salamanca. In the island Unamuno (José Luis Gómez) will make friends with some locals, such as a priest (Victor Clavijo) , brothers : Ramón (Enekoiz Noda ) and José Castañeyra (Ciro Miró) and a woman who comes to Fuerteventura to meet him , Delfina Molina (Ana Celentano) on whom he will exercise decisive influence. Years later, when the Spanish civil war began in 1936, he will be forced to face the insurgents at the University of Salamanca. From Fuerteventura he escaped to France, as related in his book De Fuerteventura a Paris. After a year in Paris, Unamuno established himself in Hendaye, a border town in the French Basque Country, as close to Spain as he could get while remaining in France. Unamuno returned to Spain after the fall of General Primo de Rivera's dictatorship in 1930 and took up his rectorship again. It is said in Salamanca that the day he returned to the University, Unamuno began his lecture by saying "As we were saying yesterday..." (Decíamos ayer...) as Fray Luis de León had done in the same place in 1576, after four years of imprisonment by the Inquisition. It was as though he had not been absent at all. After the fall of Primo de Rivera's dictatorship, Spain embarked on its Second Republic. He was a candidate on the Republican/Socialist ticket and was elected, after which he led a large demonstration in the Plaza Mayor in which he raised the Republic's flag and declared its victory. He always was a moderate and refused all political and anticlerical extremisms.
Interesting and thought-provoking drama with excellent interpretations and adequate exteriors from Fuerteventura . It narrates itself Unamuno's life in Salamanca , being first-hand witness of the deeds that will change Spain forever. Here Unamuno , who is forced into exile in Fuerteventura , results to be a contradictory , reluctant , complex person who finally becomes an ashamed and sad man , questioning himself , at times . José Luis Gómez delivers a terrific acting as an aging Miguel de Unamuno, not only writer and academic teacher but one of the most recognized intellectuals in Spain, disappointed with the Republic that publicly he helped to create . Alejandro Amenabar in 2019 shot ¨Mientras dure la guerra¨ about similar deeds , though focusing on his confrontation with Falangist General José Millán Astray .
This film ¨La isla del viento¨ is based on facts , the actual happenings are as follows : On 12 October 1936 the celebration of Columbus Day had brought together a politically diverse crowd at the University of Salamanca, including Enrique Pla y Deniel, the Archbishop of Salamanca, and Carmen Polo Martínez-Valdés, the wife of Franco, Falangist General José Millán Astray and Unamuno himself. The evening began with an impassioned speech by the Falangist writer José María Pemán. After this, Professor Francisco Maldonado decried Catalonia and the Basque Country as "cancers on the body of the nation," adding that "Fascism, the healer of Spain, will know how to exterminate them, cutting into the live flesh, like a determined surgeon free from false sentimentalism" .From somewhere in the auditorium, someone cried out the motto "¡Viva la Muerte!" . As was his habit, Millán Astray responded with "¡España!"; the crowd replied with "¡Una!" . He repeated "¡España!"; the crowd then replied "¡Grande!" . A third time, Millán Astray shouted "¡España!"; the crowd responded "Libre!"This - Spain, one, great and free - was a common Falangist cheer and would become a francoist motto thereafter. Later, a group of uniformed Falangists entered, saluting the portrait of Franco that hung on the wall. Then Unamuno adressed the crowd : I have heard this insensitive and necrophilous oath, "¡Viva la Muerte!", and I, having spent my life writing paradoxes that have provoked the ire of those who do not understand what I have written, and being an expert in this matter, find this ridiculous paradox repellent. General Millán Astray is a cripple. There is no need for us to say this with whispered tones. He is a war cripple. So was Cervantes. But unfortunately, Spain today has too many cripples. And, if God does not help us, soon it will have very many more. It torments me to think that General Millán Astray could dictate the norms of the psychology of the masses. A cripple, who lacks the spiritual greatness of Cervantes, hopes to find relief by adding to the number of cripples around him. Millán Astray responded: "Death to intelligence! Long live death!" provoking applause from the Falangists. Pemán, in an effort to calm the crowd, exclaimed "No! Long live intelligence! Death to the bad intellectuals!" Unamuno continued: "This is the temple of intelligence, and I am its high priest. You are profaning its sacred domain. You will win , because you have enough brute force. But you will not convince . In order to convince it is necessary to persuade, and to persuade you will need something that you lack: reason and right in the struggle. I see it is useless to ask you to think of Spain. I have spoken." Millán Astray, controlling himself, shouted "Take the lady's arm!" Unamuno took Carmen Polo by the arm and left under her protection.
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