The Spanish director talks about “Madres paralelas”, the film to be released on October 28 for which the actress won the Coppa Volpi. “We owe a debt to our disappeared”
In the early films —da “Pepi, Luci, Bom and the other girls of the bunch” a “What have I done to deserve this?” – he imposed a rule: do not name Franco and the dictatorship. “Denying it was my form of revenge.” But Spain, Pedro Almodóvar tells Corriere, has changed a lot since the 1980s. “Today there are people who calmly declare themselves Francoist, there is a far-right party like Vox that has poisoned the debate with racist, homophobic tones”. Yesterday his latest film, «Parallel mothers»
, presented in Venice 78 – the story of two women, Janis (Penélope Cruz, Coppa Volpi) and the very young Ana (Milena Smit, new chica Almodóvar) who meet in a clinic before giving birth – was released in Spanish cinemas. On October 28 it will arrive to us distributed by Warner Bros. His most political film, born with the intention of paying homage to the 140,000 desaparecidos of Francoism, where the narration of his Spain continues. A matria rather than a homeland, where women take charge of everything, right from the family nucleus that disregard the rules of the patriarchy.
«Madres paralelas» comes from afar, the poster appeared in «The Broken Embraces».
“Yes, I had already worked on the idea of two parallel, single mothers, both with unexpected pregnancies. But the story of the youngest did not convince me. I picked it up again during confinement ».
Who is the Janis played by Cruz?
«A successful photographer, daughter of a hippy who named her in honor of Janis Joplin, who died like her at 27. Her grandmother raised her and she feels the duty to honor her promise, help her find her grandfather’s remains. He seeks the truth but in his private life he keeps a secret until he feels he can no longer keep silent. His silence is the metaphor of that of many during the dictatorship. I make a character say: we were afraid. It was a pathological silence, the fruit of Francoism ».
Continued during the transition.
“I am the son of that era, of great freedom, of the so-called movida, apolitical and hedonistic. The dictatorship was behind us. But many questions remained open. Franco denied the existence of these Spaniards but the transition had to make concessions, they forgot the victims of the pits, condemning them to non-existence. We owe them and their loved ones. It was the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, the generation born during democracy, the first to fight for the exhumations ».
It calls into question Mariano Rajoy, former popular prime minister.
“I want his name to remain linked to the shame of having denied funding for the Zapatero law for the Memoria histórica. Fortunately, now a new one has passed that perfects it. It will not be possible to identify all corpses, in some graves there are 300 people, but relatives will be able to honor him ».
A great film about the Spanish Civil War is missing. Has cinema also struggled to deal with the past?
«Spain has a very bad relationship with historical memory. It cannot be understood that the remains of Garcia Lorca, our greatest poet, are not sought. Leonard Cohen also did not give himself peace ».
Penélope for her?
«More than a friend. I have two alter egos, Antonio Banderas who was great in “Pain and glory”, and she. Working together, having done it for so long, gives me confidence. This is a difficult character, a different mother from her. I think this is his best performance ever ».
In this film too, the kitchen is central, why?
«It is the heart of life, for us Spaniards as well as for you. Also in Scorsese, see “Goodfellas”, the mothers scenes are in the kitchen. It’s a very intimate place, you don’t lie in the kitchen ».
Italy and Spain Parallel Countries?
«For me it is a brother country. culture is part of me, since childhood, Italian music and cinema. Neorealism seems to me a Spanish genre. And I know pop music from the 60s and 70s like an Italian, I can sing all the songs. Sentimentally Mina and Raffaella Carrà formed me ».
He seems optimistic, despite everything.
“Although I’m worried, I see signs. Franco’s remains were moved from the Valle de los caídos, it was an anomaly that it was a mausoleum. It had been built by republican slaves. A terrible thing. A lot of barbarities have been done. Must remember. Memory is important ».
October 9, 2021 (change October 9, 2021 | 09:28)