Franco's Settlers at New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema on October 22, 2014 at 4 PM
After many difficulties, a serious attempt of censorship at the second largest Spanish International Film Festival in Valladolid (SEMINCI) in 2013, an almost total rejection by the official Spanish movie industry and a very successful film tour through Spain that has attracted more than 3000 viewers in only a few weeks we are very happy to announce the official North-American premiere of Franco's Settlers at the New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema on October 22, 2014 at 4 PM at Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall Street at the corner of Church Street).
Filmmakers are available for interviews.
Palacios and Post met at NYU film school. Their movies 'Bowl of Oatmeal', 'Cloven Hoofed', 'Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping' and 'Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback' were all produced in New York and have been acclaimed world wide at film festivals.
Synopsis (written by the film festival)
Franco's Settlers explores the legacy of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco through the eyes of residents who lived in one of the model villages founded during his time in power. Franco ruled from 1939 to 1975 and, as the film reveals, remains a controversial and influential figure in Spain today. In researching the model villages, filmmakers Palacios and Post uncovered a piece of history that was obscure even to those deeply knowledgable about Franco. The film was handled gingerly in Spain when it screened last year, according to Spanish press reports. Attempts to stop the film from showing in Spain were unsuccessful, but one festival toned down its publicity by removing film posters featuring satirical images of the dictator.
About the film:
Franco’s Settlers is a contemporary evaluation of the figure of the dictator Franco; a discreet and calm attempt to dissect recent Spanish history and to review how some Spaniards deal with the cruel heritage of their past. Contrary to some other films that deal with Spanish history and which usually speak from the victim's perspective, in Franco’s Settlers Palacios and Post succeed in delivering a more complete overall picture of the Spanish dictatorship (1936-1977). Especially remarkable are two things: First the film lets protagonists who openly admire the dictator Franco speak. These subjects in power during those years were high in the fascist hierarchy, from which they still massively benefit. Secondly the film paints a precise picture of what it meant to live under the dictatorship. It is those little stories about harassment and abuse, which reveal an entire system of a corrupt society. Rightly the film has been compared to the literary work by Rafael Chirbes (The Long March, The Fall of Madrid) and the filmic examinations by Claude Lanzmann (Shoa) and Eberhard Fechner (The Trial). As those works did, Franco's Settlers differentiates itself favorably in aesthetic and content from current more sensation ridden and, at times, cheesy films by using a calm rhythm and cadence, which could be described as "discreetly haunting". Therefore the film becomes timeless and simultaneously highly topical.
"Franco's Settlers" is a splendid, beautifully constructed and important film about a vital subject matter, one of the best on the previously unspoken, or hidden, modern history of Spain. I've researched Spain’s post Civil War period myself but Franco's settlements were new to me, as were many stories in the film, and this appalling experiment in social engineering came as a shock. Yet the film is well balanced and, most importantly, allows all sides speak for themselves. The archive footage, much of which not seen for decades, and the numerous contemporary interviews only confirms how heavily Franco’s shadow still hangs over Spain.
This fine and disturbing documentary needs to be seen worldwide, but especially in Spain.
(Bob Flynn, Film Journalist, The Times)
"The film has many similarities with the literary work by Spanish novelist Rafael Chirbes. As the work by Chirbes, 'Franco's Settlers' is an extraordinary piece of art."
(Manuel P. Muñoz, Author of "Perspectivización de la memoria histórica en la narrativa española actual")
"The screening provoked a spontaneous ovation to honor a rigorous and humorous film".
(Enrique Müller, El País)
"Franco's Settlers could be a very important contribution to how Spain deals with its dictatorship".
(Andreas Fanizadeh, Die Tageszeitung)
"Rarely a movie has been so much in sync with its times. Franco's Settlers puts the finger on the sore spot."
(Rafael Poch, La Vanguardia)
"An important movie to better understand the current situation in Spain".
(Walter Haubrich, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)
"A documentary that will surprise many people".
(Felipe González, President of Spain 1982-1996)
"An exact x-ray of current Spain".
(Emilio Silva, Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory)
"I invite the filmmakers to Strasbourg to show it to the court as evidence".
(Carlos Castresana, Prosecutor of the Spanish Supreme Court)
"An excellent film and history lesson. Amazing how the film takes us into present day Spain. Very creepy."
(Dominik Wessely, Professor for Documentary Filmmaking)
"A rigorous and emotional film. History told from the ground up. The film has to win the GOYA AWARDS."
(Sergi Doladé, Director of Medimed Film Market)
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Watch what Felipe González, Emilio Silva y Carlos Castresana think about the film and Franco's heritage in Spain