My very own little socially distanced Spanish Film Festival #1

I live in Melbourne, and we have been locked down over two separate periods. The first lockdown from about 24 March lasted until 12 May. The second, much more onerous one started on 9 July and is still in force in October. These are the things I miss most:

  • Seeing my children and grandchildren (although for the last fortnight we’ve been able to see them outside as long as there are only 5 of us, and within 5 km of home).
  • Being able to catch up with friends at a cafe with good coffee in a real cup and food on a china plate (Why, oh why, didn’t I do more of this in the interregnum between the two lockdowns?)
  • Going to the cinema (they opened briefly on a reduced scale, then shut again).

Numbers 1 and 2 I will jump at, as soon I have the chance, but I don’t know when I’ll feel confident to return to the cinema again. The idea of sitting in the dark, someone either side of me, and people coughing and sniffing as they inevitably do, really creeps me out.

I always look forward to the Spanish Film Festival and the Latin American Film Festival, which screen at the nearby Westgarth Palace Cinema. Neither festival occurred this year, but I’ve been enjoying the Instituto Cervantes Festival Pelikula 2020 which is being screened online for free! The films are only available in Australia, Phillipines and Thailand for free, and they only screen for 24 hours. They are subtitled in English – unfortunately, not in Spanish because I like the challenge of reading Spanish subtitles. The festival runs between 3 and 11 October so there are still a couple of days and films left.

Here’s what I’ve seen so far:

  1. The Reconquest. Actually, I don’t think that this was part of the Pelikula festival, but it was time limited. Who knows how I got to know of it. It’s about two 30-somethings who keep the promise that they made as fifteen-year olds to meet up in 15 years time. Beautifully filmed but so very s-l-o-w. I’m sure that I aged 15 years watching it.

2. La Filla de Algú. Eli is a lawyer working in the family law firm. On the morning when she and her father are about to act in an important case, her father disappears. Despite being 7 months pregnant, she goes off looking for him. She is secretive and evasive – I wouldn’t want her as my lawyer. The ending was very abrupt and indeterminate.

3. Jaulas .(i.e. ‘Cages’) I really enjoyed this film. Set in an Andalusian shanty-town, a young girl, her mother and her disabled uncle escape their violent father/husband. The family keeps caged birds, and like the birds, they are all trapped. The ending was a little ambiguous (what is it with all these ambiguous endings?) but I’m going with a positive plot resolution rather than a more chilling one.

I’ve booked for another four films, so that will keep me busy. If you’re interested in joining in, here is the link:

They are all subtitled in English.

One response to “My very own little socially distanced Spanish Film Festival #1

  1. I’ve been enjoying my own little Italian Film festival because Palace Cinemas have somehow been able to package the 2020 festival into a boxed set which arrived last week and I watched the first one yesterday.
    I am still hoping they will do this with the French film festival because, like you, I want to improve my language skills in this most enjoyable way.
    Thank heavens for SBS and Kanopy, eh?

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