I have recently discovered that the Instituto Cervantes sponsors free access to Spanish movies on Vimeo, for a period of 48 hours per film. They are streamed through Vimeo, with English and Spanish subtitles. I don’t really know much about Spanish or Latin American film (or any film, for that matter) and my awareness of Spanish directors or actors is very limited. Nonetheless, I’ve been watching a few of these with the Spanish subtitles on. At times I have to stop the video if there’s too much text, or if I think that there might be something particularly important happening. I’d be doomed trying to watch these films without subtitles, but so far, I’ve been able to keep up as long as the Spanish subtitles are there.
Segundo Lopez is about an honest, good, somewhat naive man who leaves his village after his mother dies. He befriends a street urchin, El Chirri who at first tries to rob him, but they decide to stick together. Segundo gradually goes through his money, buying presents for people he befriends. Segundo and Chirri become close to Marta, a young, ill woman living in their boarding house. Eventually they lose everything and decide to move on.
The film was directed by Ana Mariscal, a leading actress in Franco’s Spain. She also stars in the movie as Marta. It is filmed in black and white, with consciously old-fashioned lighting.