Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Libertarias & Mujeres Libres


One of the great movies on the Spanish Civil War, is Libertarias:

It is 1936, and the Spanish Civil War has just begun. María (Ariadna Gil), a young nun, is forced to leave the convent after the arrival of the revolutionary troops in Barcelona. She takes refuge in a bordello, where the women are being "drafted" for the "Free Women" organization under the leadership of Pilar (Ana Belén). A crippled medium called Floren (Victoria Abril) joins them, and the odd platoon takes off for Zaragoza, a bloody battlefield.

Libertarias, the most spectacular film epic ever made in Spain, is a project which had been in gestation by its filmmaker for almost two decades. Anchoring his narrative on a group of women who fought in the Spanish Civil War, Aranda has gathered an extraordinary female cast who do great honor to their fascinating characters: Ana Belén as Pilar portrays the pure feminist warrior, passionate and fiery; Loles León as Charo is the hooker with the heart of gold; Ariadna Gil is María, the Holy Innocent. Miguel Bosé is a former priest, in total moral upheaval. And finally, the unmatchable Victoria Abril takes over the film as the psychic who can foretell the future.






Aranda recreates with his special brand of realism, not only the physical details of the war -- the Zaragoza scenes are marvelous recreations of battle -- but also the defeated political ideals.

An overwhelming climax crowns this ambitious production, in which Vicente Aranda achieves a glorious epic poem about war and the role that women can, and should, play in such an event.

The full movie (of just over 2 hours) can be viewed here, more on Mujeres Libres here.

2 comments:

  1. Regrettably the content of the link has been blocked for copyright reasons. I am going to search for a copy on sale somewhere and hope that it has English sub-titles.

    La lucha continuará!

    Marie Marshall
    Scotland

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    Replies
    1. ... and as it happens the cheapest I can find it is about $75US! There is something ironic about that, given the subject matter, and given that revolutionary Catalonia abolished money!

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