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The film that regains the pride of the Royal Fall after six months without electricity


Last spring, by Isabel Lamberti, follows the Gabarre-Mendoza family on their way to a new home and a new life from the largest shanty town in Spain

A moment from the filming of ‘The Last Spring’
Chance, fate or something more painful has made the anniversary of an obvious and very cold ignominy coincide with a small but well identifiable miracle. Friday will be six months since one of the areas of the Cathere is Real Galiana, the largest irregular settlement in Spain at the gates of the richest autonomous community in that same Spain, was left without electricity. Two days earlier, on Thursday, the cinemas open Last spring, the first feature film of Isabel Lamberti which reconstructs a piece of the life of the Gabarre-Mendoza, a family from La Caada. The two events, anniversary and film, take place in the same place. And yet, without actually contradicting themselves, it is said that they do not even talk about the same thing.

“My idea”, comments the Dutch-Spanish director, “was never to make a report report. Although the report is there. There are many journalistic reports and news that talk about the same thing. And the idea is always to show a place deeply degraded. There is something of indecent spectacle in that endeavor to turn misery into spectacle. ” What is seen in the film, on the other hand, and without renouncing the clamor of the obvious, is what without much imagination could be called the other side. That is, it assists the passing of each and every one of the lives gathered around a family. They work, fall in love, get up early, play superheroes, despair and, because of all the above, they live. So easy. It is not so much, but also, the portrait of a collective shame, that of all of us, as the daily and personal pride of the Gabarre-Mendoza. “Whenever I consider a project, my interest is the color gray”, He says. Indeed, life is not summed up either in a cry of denunciation or in a slogan for a political campaign.

The film, in fact, does nothing more than follow the trail left years ago, in 2015, in which it was Lamberti’s first short film. Flying I go He was telling what two brothers allow themselves to be told. That was the director’s first contact with a Spanish father and a Dutch mother (but with an octogenarian grandmother and still in Spain) with La Caada and the Gabarres. He remembers that he saw some images on television of that strange place because of its distance and its certainty at the same time and, against all the advice of all, there he went. They warned him that he was going to the darkest of places besieged by crime and a thousand more dangers, and what he found was what is always found among people regardless of their condition: life. Those kids have grown up and, with them, their entire family. And all are now the protagonists of The Last Spring.

Agustina and David in 'La
Agustina and David in ‘The Last Spring’.
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“We do not want to make an investigative film, nor do we want to tell how terrible everything is, nor do we want to make a film about gypsies with their traditions,” clarifies the director to record that in each of her denials the germ of a tape is drawn as identifiable and close as it is unique. Everything is fable, but so close to the lives of each of the family members, that it is the very sense of truth which is imposed even more clearly than if it were a regular documentary. “Each one had to respect the script that is rewritten almost daily. The dialogues were not written, but they act, they interpret themselves with the same talent as pride,” says Lamberti, herself with pride.

Last spring It tells of the Gabarre-Mendoza’s struggle against bureaucracy, against police inspections, against electricity that falls, against courses to learn hairdressing, against perhaps early pregnancy, against everything. Agustina, the mother, despairs at the imminence of the eviction that, after waiting for months, suddenly arrives to be executed in two days. David, the father, strives for everyone to stay together and, from a small and nervous body, rises on the screen like a titan capable of defeating even a form that requires to be filled out by computer. But every second of the film also draws with prodigious precision the hope for a new house in which to live. Everything that happens is perfectly real (In fact, the film uses as its own material the vicissitudes of the family to its new home and does so with the fear of being overwhelmed by reality itself that does not know of filming plans) and all that is seen is nothing more than fable. Also perfect.

The director says that she was always aware of her position. He did not want to fall into the arrogance of the visitor who comes to the sites to tell how things “really” are. Nor do you pretend the naivety of the one who glorifies misery as a way of life from also the pride of the tourist with a conscience. “Each shot is justified by the character. There are no general shots to reassure the viewer’s conscience, “he says. He also remembers that when he set the film he had no idea if his characters were going to know how to act. They had to get angry, suffer, cry and laugh as they usually did, but they had to do it like the interpreters who were of their lives. “For a moment, I panicked,” he says. And, finally, Lamberti’s clearest memory is that of the first time he saw his father cry before the film already made. ” He was crying with pride to see his family so well, such good actors of themselves. ”

It has been six months since a part of the Caada has no electricity, in a month there will be elections in the Community of Madrid and on Thursday the miracle will be released The last spring. Everything fits. Life sometimes fits.

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