This series traces 10 revolutionary years in the history of Catalan cinema: the period between 1968 and 1978, when the fate of Spain—and Catalonia’s place in it—lay in the balance. The death of General Francisco Franco on November 20, 1975, and the ascension of Juan Carlos I to the throne made possible the nation’s transition from brutal dictatorship to fragile democracy. The Catalan language, after nearly a half-century of censorship, could once again be expressed freely in the streets and in the arts.
Filmmakers who during the last years of dictatorship had risked their lives by shooting clandestinely or by encoding their scripts with politically subversive ideas responded to a newfound freedom after 1976 with work that continues to excite and provoke. The exhibition, drawn entirely from the archives of the Filmoteca de Catalunya, spans the decade from the radicalism of 1968 to the first democratic elections in 1977 and the writing of the Constitution of Spain the following year. It includes films by Pere Portabella, Antoni Ribas, and others that explore the legacy of the Spanish Civil War, the surge of immigrants into Barcelona and other cities in Catalonia from other parts of Spain, Catalan national identity, the clash of dissident movements, feminist and class struggle, and sexual liberation.
Program descriptions are written by Esteve Riambau. All films courtesy of the Filmoteca de Catalunya.
Organized by Esteve Riambau, Director, Filmoteca de Catalunya, and Joshua Siegel, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.