The space Punto de Vista dedicates to the most invisible of Spanish films of the past will focus on the life and work of José María Berzosa this year – a filmmaker whose anti-Franco ideas sent him into exile in Paris in 1956.
Three of Berzosa’s documentaries, chosen by film critic and historian Luis E. Parés, will be screened. Made between 1972 and 1976, they include Rouge Greco rouge (1972), an exploration of the mysterious lands of Castile and their bitter legacy using the paintings of El Greco as a pretext, and one of the episodes in the French TV production Espagnes, a three-episode series centred on El Cid, Don Juan and Don Quixote. The episode chosen is the first one, Comment se debarraser des restes du Cid (1973). In the series, Berzosa deconstructs the myths associated with these three characters, used by the Franco regime to stand for eternal and universal values of Spanish culture. Finally, ¡Arriba España! (1976), a documentary on the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s dictatorship from a caustically critical perspective, with a skilful use of archive and documentary materials and interviews with Spanish politicians of the period.
José María Berzosa, who is coming from Paris for this homage, worked as a film critic, an assistant director to Jean Renoir, a scriptwriter for French TV and a renowned documentary maker with a long career behind him. A regular contributor to educational TV in France, he shot several fiction films as well, where he masterfully brought fiction and reality together. He was also a teacher at such film schools as La Fémis in France and San Antonio de los Baños in Cuba. In 2005, José María Berzosa took part in the 1st Punto de Vista Festival with his feature film Pinochet et ses trois généraux (2004), an ironic, uncompromising portrait of the Chilean dictator and his deputies.