Think Don Quijote and Sancho Panza, but set in 1950s Madrid, and where Don Quijote and his faithful servant are Argentinians reluctantly posing as Uruguayans. That’s ¡Atraco! for you. It’s the film chosen by Cornerhouse for the opening gala of Spanish language film festival ¡Viva! on Friday evening.


You’d do well to remember that it’s described as tragi-comic cine noir, because for all its bumbling, inept and comic plot, it has a surprising depth and seriousness to it. Set partly in Panamá, where the deposed Perón lives, post-Evita, his supporters want to arrange for him to go into exile in Spain, and to finance it they pawn Evita’s jewels in Madrid. Unfortunately Doña Carmen, wife of Franco, takes a liking to them and the jewels have to be rescued by  pre-arranged robbery.


One of Evita’s former security guards gets the job, along with a young man they just happen upon one day. They have the will, but they don’t really have the ability, to carry through this heist. Plenty of comedy, some romance, bad language (the young man says coño a lot, in order to ‘blend in’) and plenty of digs at Uruguayans.


Beautiful film by Eduard Cortés, starring actors from both sides of the Atlantic, and a timely reminder that it wasn’t that long ago when Spain was governed by a dictator. Easy to forget how bad it was, while on the surface it remained almost normal.


Perón’s fondness for dancers gets a mention, and Isabel features briefly. But no one can hold a candle to the beloved Evita. She commands loyalty even from the grave, and her servants are willing to die for her.


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