Jump in for part 2 of my film reviews for this year’s Spanish Film Festival! All of these films are centred on women and issues of class, as directed by non-Indigenous, non-Black women. But there are other themes of intersectionality that I will draw out.
We start with The Good Girls, a much-celebrated tale about greed and White femininity during the 1982 financial crisis in Mexico. Ana by Day starts from an interesting premise – a White woman comes home to find someone else already in her home: her doppelganger. What to do? We move through risque escapism, as envisioned from a place of class privilege. Two of the strongest films of the festivals follow. For the most thoughtful exploration of patriarchy, sexuality and race I’ve ever seen on film, Carmen y Lola is unsurpassed. It was an engrossing story of a young, lesbian Gitana minority woman in Spain, falling in love in a context where ‘compulsory heterosexuality’ and its complex ties to culture and family are unpacked. Another highlight is a methodical and complex look at the lives of Brown Mexican women who service hotels. If you think that sounds mundane, The Chambermaid will floor you with its poignant study of a woman who has always made herself small to survive. She finds subtle ways to subvert servitude. Finally, with its weighty ideals and harrowing topic of human trafficking, The Longest Night is superb filmmaking but utterly horrific for anyone committed to women’s rights. Let’s find out why.
(Read Spanish Film Festival 2019, Part 1) Trigger warning: discussion of depicted sexual violence, family violence. Continue reading Spanish Film Festival 2019, Part 2: The Good Girls, Ana by Day, Carmen y Lola, The Chambermaid, The Longest Night
Playing at the Sydney Latin American Film Festival, The Companion is a Cuban film centred on Horacio, a Black Cubano who is a former boxing champion now disgraced. Played by Yotuel Romero, Horacio is assigned to work at a military-run hospital (”Los Cocos”) where all Cubans who were HIV positive were quarantined in the 1980s under the guise of universal healthcare. Continue reading The Companion: Film Review
At the Spanish Film Festival 2016, I saw many good films; one of which was Las Ovejas No Pierden El Tren (translated to “Sidetracked” but that’s not quite right – direct translation is the sheep don’t miss the train).
The film was a very sweet comedy about the relationship between adult siblings and their parents, and about coming to terms with the disappointment that life does not turn out how you hope. The film had a lovely recurring theme about how people trick themselves into thinking they’re happy, and wasting time pretending to be happy, or angry and disappointed that they don’t get what they want how they want it.
Image: Bar lounge at the Electric Palace Cinema,Canberra, host of the Spanish Film Festival.
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Paella at the Hispanic Street Festival, Johnson Street, Melbourne Australia. The food is by Spanish Gourmet Caterers.
Chavela Vargas reportedly had a romantic relationship with Frida Kahlo when she was young. Anti-establishment and publicly identifying as homosexual, Vargas took a bold stance against the status quo of the music industry. Vargas defied stereotypes of what women singers should look and sound, by sculpting her unique vocal talents around traits typically associated with masculinity. Known as the rough voice of tenderness (“la voz áspera de la ternura”), Vargas embodied art both as passion and protest.
Vargas died on the 5th of August 2012, RIP.
Image via Van Guardia.
El movimiento de los “indignados” ha llamado a una protesta mundial hoy para conmemorar su primer aniversario, en la que espera concentrar a cientos de miles de personas en diversas ciudades de Europa y de Estados Unidos. Una democracia real, más justicia social, una distribución de la riqueza y una ética pública forman parte común de las demandas de todos los actos que hoy sábado celebra ese movimiento.
The “Outraged” movement has called for a global protest to mark its first anniversary. Protesters hope to rally hundreds of thousands of supporters in various cities in Europe and the United States. A true democratic movement, it calls for social justice, re-distribution of wealth and public ethics.
The rest of the story covers events in various countries such as Greece, Spain, Portugal, the UK and the USA.
Read the story in Spanish at La Opinión.