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Libertad, by Urbizu, a feverish ‘neowestern’ feminist and gay as a metaphor and inner wound


Enrique Urbizu insists on rewriting the rules of gender cinema from feminism and diversity

Bebe is the protagonist of ‘Libertad’, by Enrique Urbizu.
  • Series and cinema Urbizu and Bebe ride to Freedom with blunderbuss

After Desert centaurs so many rewrites came from the western as attempts to refound looks. Included Brokeback Mountainby Ang Lee. And after The man who killed Liberty Valance, the conquest of the West even demanded the certainty that it was a woman who dictated the law in, for example, Meek’s Cutoff, de Kelly Reichardt. Neither sexist nor homophobic, finally, there was the new frontier and the new challenge of a genre that is basically no longer a refutation of any outer or inner limit. Freedom, by Enrique Urbizu, is a film aware of the past that assists it and therefore, and as is the norm in the director’s filmography, it throws itself with passion into the meticulous reworking of the most evident guidelines that configure the genre, be it the thriller be, as right now, the own western.

For a whole life, Spanish cinema has been in search of its own border story, of its own western. The other side of the Rio Grande could well be our southern Sierra Morena. The conquest of the West (as the bankruptcy of the maps) configures the sacred geography in which all mythologies converge. The adventure does not consist of anything other than an exercise in understanding. The wild, what has no rules, surrenders to the rule of law. Thus, the Indians fall before the Seventh of Caballera, the border acquires the iconic size of the horizon, an iron horse traces roads where before there was only an infinite plain and, why not, Luis Candelas is accountable to the governor. Let’s say that in the four categories that Borges devised to enclose all possible stories of humanity in his story ‘The four cycles’, we would be in the third of them, the one that deals with a search; the one that makes the Argonauts and the colonists close relatives; to seekers of the Holy Grail and those infected by the gold rush; Captain Ahab and the bandits, all heroes punished to hell.

This is the space of Freedom, the same as in our tradition films such as Dawn in dark door (1957), by Jos Mara Forqu, or the complete series of Curro Jimnez for television captained by Joaqun Romero Walk in the late seventies. Urbizu, a good connoisseur of the mythical space that he passes through, insists on traveling that same landscape. And he does it with due violence, allowing his characters to be transformed into archetypes first. wagnerians O shakespearianos than in simple earthly creatures. What is interesting now, and there the find, is the location of the border.

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The characters of Bebe o Isak Frriz not only fight against an unjust law and a cruel governor also fight against the very reality of flint that it does not recognize women as weak or homosexuals as deviants. The entire fight that Freedom raises in the open between the inhospitable mountains is reproduced with exactly the same virulence and bitterness in the hidden space of the secret, the immutable. Adventure in its radicalism is also sacrilege.

The film tells the story of La Llanera, a woman who after years of confinement and after being condemned and pardoned more times than bearable is finally free. Or almost. She and her son flee. Behind are Lagartijo, Aceituno and even an English biographer seduced by the possibility of an adventure story and, of course, freedom. Everyone is looking for something and everyone is looking for himself. And so what follows is a film laid out in a straight line bent on turning fever into breath. Urbizu’s calligraphy, as fiery as it is clear, thus succeeds in retelling the same old story, but inward. The only recognizable ballast, yes, is due to the experiment of alternating series for TV and film that infects the latter with an unnecessary episodic rhythm.

Be that as it may, the clarity remains free of borders neither towards the outside nor towards the inside; remains the western, the genre that, in effect, invented the cinema.

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