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BERLINALE 2010 Panorama

Berlin audiences Suffer Albaladejo’s latest gladly

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Spanish director Miguel Albaladejo (Bear Cub, Volando Voy) looks to the past of Spanish cinema for the inspiration of his latest, Born to Suffer [+see also:
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, which premiered in Berlin as part of the Panorama section.

The unusual and often hilarious romantic comedy has a 72-year old in the main role: Flora (Petra Martinez), a woman from a small village who spent her life taking care of her relatives, in particular her young nieces. Now that they’ve moved away and she starts to need being looked after, she’s afraid her family will lock her away in an old people’s home.

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Thankfully, there is Purita (Adriana Ozores), a servile maid who has always been part of the household, and who, in an unexpected turn of events, ends up being married to Flora, who was afraid her family or one of the old bachelors in the village might otherwise take Purita away from her.

Using this simple premise, Albaladejo spins a comedy of errors and emotions that sticks to romantic comedy conventions that are made fresh by the unusual choice of protagonists.

Explains the director: “Born to Suffer is a romantic comedy, but with a very important difference: the main characters don’t know that it is a romantic comedy. Perhaps that is why the end result is more comedy than romance. But it is romantic too. The tendency in romantic comedies is for girl to meet boy (or vice versa), girl to lose boy (or vice versa) and, finally, for girl to get boy back (or vice versa). But here things are not exactly that way. Here it is a case of mistress meets slave, mistress loses slave and, finally, mistress gets slave back (or vice versa).”

The film was produced by Tornasol Films, Castafiore Films and the ad-hoc production company Born to Suffer, with backing from TVE, Studio complex Ciudad de la Luz and Generalitat Valenciana, ICAA and ICO. The film was released last week in Spain by Alta Classics, while Madrid-based Latido handles international sales.

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