Maybe now is the time to look back at Spain under Franco. Currently there seems to be more about this period than I can ever recall seeing. We knew about the oppression, but it is easy for the outsider to forget. Today Spain is like any other modern European country.
But until 1969 it didn’t let go of the civil war or the repercussions it still meted out to those on the wrong side. In most wars, once it’s over, it’s over, and even the losing side has rights. The Spanish Reds (i.e. anyone not on Franco’s side) didn’t.
30 años de oscuridad is a film that will hopefully remind those of us who forgot. It’s about the people who hid after the civil war ended. It’s about what it’s like to hide for thirty years. What it’s like for the families of the ‘moles’ and the ever present fear of discovery. Your friends and neighbours would give you away to save themselves.
The film is based on a book written about these people, and mainly about the mayor of Mijas, Manuel Cortés, and it’s part ‘interview’ and part animation. The moles are dead now, but their children and grandchildren remember them. Tremendous film, hardhitting, and if you haven’t come across a garrote before, you can count yourself lucky.
30 Years of Darkness is on at Cornerhouse on March 12th and 23rd as part of the ¡Viva! film festival.