July 18, 1936. Salamanca, Castilla and León (center to Spain). The Spanish army declares the state of war in the city, hoping to extend it to the rest of Spain and improve the unstable situation in the country after the proclamation of the Second Republic five years ago. 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, supports the new revolt in the hope to clean the country of the undesirable elements for desperation of his close friends teacher Salvador and priest Atilano, creating too many problems in his house where Miguel lives with his daughters María and Felisa, his housemaid Aurelia and his grandson Miguelín. At the same time that Salamanca's mayor Casto Prieto is arrested without cause apparent and his wife Ana asks help Miguel de Unamuno, the Joint Chiefs of Staff meet to decide the strategy to take the power, where the merciless one-eyed, ...Written by
Despite the high precision with which some key moments in this film are traced, such as the fact that Unamuno used the letter from the widow of the Protestant pastor Atilano Coco to write the draft of his speech, it is not true that Millán Astray bellowed "España Una, Grande, Libre" (Spain One, Great and Free) after the writer's harangue, since this nationalist phrase was not yet pronounced at state events, only at those held by the Falange. He did shout instead patriotic proclamations. See more »
Well directed, well acted, As always Alejandro Amenábar has done an excellent job.
The story follows Miguel de Unamuno who was the rector of the university Salamanca before the war. As with happens with many intellectuals he was blind to the consequences of what was happening around him.
The dictatorship's rise and time in power is still a hot potato here in Spain. The transition to democracy, though smooth, did not manage to heal the wounds of seventy years of dictatorship.
This story is timeless: we cannot see the reality of something until it is too late. But even if we can, are we able to change things? Or is it the man with the gun and all the bullets that decides who is in the right?
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