Review: A March to Remember
- First-time director Victor Cabaco recreates a tragic historical episode that took place in Spain in 1976, with support from the audio-visual archives
Following the death of infamous dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, Spain did not embrace liberty, justice and equal rights overnight; the fight against state tyranny was not yet over. A March to Remember [+see also:
film profile] pays tribute to that longer struggle. A fiction film based on true events, it marks the directorial debut of Santander’s Víctor Cabaco. Cabaco has recreated that eventful period in history through props, costumes and hairstyling, working with a script written by Juan Ibarrondo and Héctor Amado and a cast including Ruth Díaz (who won the Best Actress award in Venice in 2016 for her performance in The Fury of a Patient Man [+see also:
interview: Raúl Arévalo
film profile]), Mikel Iglesias and Amaia Aberasturi. He also draws extensively on documentary images and authentic police radio recordings, relics of the tragic day recalled by the film — Cabaco’s first full-length feature and a contender in the First Feature Competition at the Black Nights Festival in Tallinn.
With Álvaro Herrero’s editing creating some high-impact, fast-action moments and an overly epic score by José Luis Canal, A March to Remember has a certain feel reminiscent of a nostalgia-drenched TV series, but don’t be fooled: it quickly distances itself from period-drama cosiness and heads straight to the still-raw heart of this bloody and shameful episode, which occurred just as Spain was leaving the dictatorship behind it and embarking on a new era as a parliamentary monarchy. After decades of imposing their abuses through fear, intimidation and violence, those wielding power in Spain were not prepared to sit back and allow society to change.
Cabaco — erstwhile assistant director to Kepa Sojo, the Ibarretxe brothers and Koldo Serra, as well as having directed episodes of TV series Compañeros — evokes those turbulent days by honing in on one middle-class family that will be profoundly changed by events in their home town, the Basque city of Vitoria. The father, a journalist, will be subjected to blackmail by his powerful bosses, while his daughter secretly joins the workers’ cause, supporting a general strike and taking part in rallies violently dispersed by armed police. It is precisely this active feminine role in the events portrayed that scores extra points for this well-made and generally well-acted film, which pointedly reminds us that the murder of five workers, ordered by the central government, remains shamefully unpunished.
The world premiere of A March to Remember took place last September at the EiTB Gala as part of the 66th San Sebastián International Film Festival. Produced by Zaramaga Films AIE – Sonora Estudios and Gariza Films, with support from ICAA, it will be distributed by Barton Films. Filmax is handling international sales.
(Translated from Spanish)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.