¿Que he hecho yo para merecer esto? (What Have I Done to Deserve This?). 1984. Spain. Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. With Carmen Maura, Chus Lampreave, Verónica Forqué, Ángel de Andrés López. DCP. In Spanish; English subtitles. 101 min.
Overworked cleaning lady Gloria (Carmen Maura) takes multiple jobs to make ends meet. Her unforgiving life is inhabited by a cast of eccentric characters: an abusive taxi driver husband who schemes to forge Adolf Hitler’s handwriting, a drug-dealing teenage son who is the actual forger, an unappreciative mother-in-law who hides her sweets, and a prostitute neighbor who pays Gloria to sit in on sex acts she performs with exhibitionist customers. In this absurd and oppressive environment, what is a woman like Gloria to do—in Almodóvian fashion? Drugs, murder, sex, and selling off a younger son to a pedophiliac dentist helped make this tragicomedy the auteur’s first international success.