Is it possible to make good films during a dictatorship? Between Buñuel and Dalí (Un chien andalou, 1929) and Almodóvar’s first film (Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls on the Heap, 1980) there emerged a whole series of directors whose films developed the
visual and oral language which would be used by subsequent Spanish film-makers.
Spanish cinema flourished during General Francisco Franco’s regime (1939–75) despite the dictatorship. Provoked by the system they lived under, Spanish directors told dramatic stories about people’s hopes and troubles by using humour and symbols that reached
their audiences and sidestepped the censors.
This series is a first-rate ensemble of films, which not only applaud freedom of expression, but also the courage and intelligence of the film-makers who created them, who managed to find alternative means of expression to appease censorship without relinquishing what they wanted to transmit. More than three decades later, these twenty features reveal an enthralling, daring, and formally innovative era of Spanish cinema.