A plunge into a Latin-American dictatorship
by Vitor Pinto
03/03/2006 - Four out of the ten films hitting Spanish screens this weekend are European productions, including two anticipated domestic titles: political drama The Feast of the Goat and comedy La semana que viene (sin falta).
These are the first two local features to open in March, a prolific month for Spanish film releases that includes, among others, Almodóvar's Volver [trailer, film focus], El Triunfo: The Beat of the Streets [trailer] by Mireia Ros and Clive Gordon's Cargo.
Based on the novel by Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, The Feast Of The Goat follows the journey of Urania (Isabella Rossellini), who returns to the Dominican Republic to visit her dying father, the former right hand of dictator Trujillo. Produced by Andrés Vicente Gómez, the film combines personal drama and political conspiracy to uncover the strong contrasts of Dominican society. For Luis Llosa, who had previously directed Hollywood titles The Specialist (1994) and Anaconda (1997), The Feast of the Goat marks a turning point in style. "It’s a very complex project, a fascinating story insofar as the different characters, but it also contains the repulsion we feel towards what a human being is capable of doing in certain situations", stated the director. Lola Films, which co-produced the film with the London-based Future Films, is handling domestic distribution, while international sales are being managed by IAC Film/Sequence Film.
The second promising Spanish title is the remake of Pierre Jolivet's My Little Business. Imanol Arias stars in La semana que viene (sin falta), a comedy produced by Seville’s Maestranza Films and Línea Sur, and directed by Josetxo San Mateo, who is back three years after Diario de una becaria. DeAPlaneta is handling the film’s theatrical distribution.
Other European films of the week include Jonathan Nossiter's documentary Mondovino (distribution: Sagrera) and Mrs. Henderson Presents by Stephen Frears, which will probably attract audiences’ attention during Oscar weekend. The latter, produced by BBC Films and Future Films in association with the UK Film Council, and distributed by Vertigo Films, has been nominated for two Academy Awards: Best achievement in Costume Design, and Best Leading Actress for Dame Judi Dench.