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Summer Film Series comes to a close

July 29, 2010

Monday, on July 26th, I showed Volver at the Public Library. It was our final event from “Women and Almodovar” series.

Volver is a beautiful story about family secrets and reconciliation. Two sisters who live in Barcelona reconcile with their mother, after they find out that she is not dead. By playing with his favorite genre, melodrama, Almodovar weaves a delightful story around silences and misunderstandings. Each woman in the story has a secret: the grandmother is alive and ashamed about not protecting one of his daughters from her abusive husband; one of the sisters is aware that her mother is not dead, and hires her to work in an illegal hair salon; the other sister has to cover up for the death of her ex-boyfriend, who has been killed in self-defense by her daughter; and a friend of the family wants to solve the mystery of an old crime, and goes to a show to expose some of the family secrets. This short summary of the story is enough, I believe, to get a taste of the complexity of Almodovar’s narrative. 

In the Q and A section, one person said that this is her favorite Almodovar movie, because it is about ordinary lives and thus easier for her to identify with the characters. A woman in the audience praised Penelope Cruz for acting so well, and another one pointed put that the burial scene feels very real, because she lived in Spain. In her view, Almodovar was outstanding in highlighting the details of a burial in a little village, with all its tension and drama.

Volver puts an end to our Almodovar series.  I was very happy to organize it and to get a lot of help from people in Western European Studies. We might come back with another series, so please stay tuned. I love good European art-house movies!

If you attended any of the film screenings, please share with us your thoughts. A short online survey can be accessed here.

-blog post by Bogdan Popa, organizer for the Women & Almodovar film series

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