10/26/2019.- The 64th Valladolid Film Festival held today a special screening of the documentary feature Generalissimo, Franco’s life in color, by Luis Carrizo, who attended the event accompanied fy the film’s producer Francesc Escribano. The film, scheduled to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the end of the Spanish Civil War, revisits the figure of Franco “in order to recreate for today’s audiences key moments of our recent history,” explained the documentary’s director.
Resorting to archival footage preserved at Spain’s Film Library (Filmoteca Española), the film provides a biographical portrait of the dictator. In the director’s words, “this documentary is the final instalment of a trilogy that began with The Civil War in colour and continued with The Francoist regime in color. The full project began five years ago and, according to Francesc Escribano,” it would have been impossible without the collaboration, support, encouragement and complicity of the Discovery group’s DMax channel and above all the Spanish Film Library”, which provided the footage. Both reached an agreement for a 5-year period so that “a research team could explore, restore and colourise those film files.”
The producer explained the team’s commitment to History and their attempt to “present it for 21st-century audiences, since for the younger generations black and white may be less relatable. Color brings History closer to home.” The filmmakers wanted to “approach the figure of the dictator as a man, a member of the military and a statesman while trying to focus on the facts, rather than judging them from an ideological perspective.” The film is an attempt to reexamine a figure who is still largely present in current affairs. Carrizo pointed out that their narrative “aims at being a non-contaminated account that avoids a pre-established discourse and eschews demonising the character in favour of a more historicist perspective.”
He likewise pointed out that it is unlikely that “watching the film will make anyone change their views; instead, it will provide an additional context and bring down to earth a figure that is sometimes seen as a stone statue .” Carrizo asked the audience to avoid being judgemental and instead try to understand who the character was, what he did and what happened in those years: “History in capitals, but also in lowercase letters,” he said.
The film will be released in selected theatres in several Spanish cities next Friday. Additionally, the whole series will be broadcast on DMax starting November 19.