In May, the Navarra Film Library is playing host to the third edition of ‘Punto de Vista in Focus.’ This event was first held in November 2010, with the aim of extending the Punto de Vista Film Festival’s presence in Pamplona throughout the year. Its format is that of short cycles which, under the general title ‘Punto de Vista in Focus,’ focus on a specific phenomenon related to documentary making. This time, the phenomenon in focus is ‘Displacement, Loss and Melancholy: Spaniards in Exile in Mexico,’ screening four films shot between 1939 and 1963 by filmmakers forced to leave their country at the end of the Spanish Civil War.
Exiles, displaced citizens, expatriates… Filmmakers and artists working in a place other than their own, under the central influence of Luis Buñuel. Exile in Mexico and the rich experience in this Latin American country offered filmmakers (and many other citizens) a land that was not home but felt like it. They bore the wounds of the Civil War, the impossibility of going back home and the sense of being in transit, without knowing where they were going; they felt homesick but knew the Spain they had left behind no longer existed. ‘In Focus’ has chosen the works of four of them (maybe not the best known) to explore the same lines of tension: the melancholy of displacement and loss, the romance with or renewal of realism in film and the staging of the documentary to give some fresh air to fictional narratives.
From Sierra de Teruel (L’Espoir), shot in Spain during the war, to Tiburoneros (The Shark Hunters), an accurate picture of the Mexican society taking the exiles in, there are 25 years. In between, there are Torero (1956), by Carlos Velo, and En el balcón vacío, by Pamplona-born María Luisa Elío and her husband, Jomi García Ascot. Four different films dealing with a part of our history in politics and film that does not quite fit Spanish historical narratives.
In addition, on 31 May, Román Gubern, the leading Spanish film historian and the best known communication expert at the international level, is delivering a lecture: ‘La mirada trasterrada’(The Trans-iled Look). Gubern is the author of Cine español en el exilio (1976), the book on the work done by Spanish filmmakers in exile after the defeat of the Republicans in the Civil War. With his research and his close connections with Mexico, he met Luis Alcoriza, Luis Buñuel, Carlos Velo, Max Aub and Jomi García Ascot, among other expatriates.
The films are being shown on Thursdays in May at the Navarra Film Library.
- 10 May, 8:00 p.m. L’Espoir. Sierra de Teruel, by André Malraux. Spain/France, 1939.
- 17 May, 8:00 p.m. En el balcón vacío, by María Luisa Elío and Jomi García Ascot. Mexico, 1962.
- 24 May, 8:00 p.m. Tiburoneros (The Shark Hunters) by Carlos García-Alix. México, 1963.
- 31 May:
- 7:45 p.m. Lecture by Román Gubern: ‘La mirada trasterrada’ (The Trans-iled Look)
- 8:30 p.m. Torero, by Carlos Velo. Mexico, 1956.