Víctor García León presents ‘Los Europeos’, an adaptation of Rafael Azcona’s book

From left to right: Enrique López-Lavigne, Víctor García León and Jaime Gona

  • The film is presented in the Spanish Cinema section, and it tries to portray Spain in the 50’s

30/10/2020.- The Broadway cinemas in Valladolid hosted this Thursday, in the Spanish Cinema section, the presentation of Los Europeos, directed by Víctor García León. This feature film was born from the idea of wanting to make an adaptation of Rafael Azcona‘s book on the big screen. “It was Jaime Gona, the film’s producer, who pushed me”, explained the director.

The film portrays the lives of Miguel Alonso, who works as a draughtsman, and Antonio, his boss’s son, who takes him on a summer holiday in Ibiza. The story shows how both friends arrive in the island and bring out the party animals inside them. This work tries to show the class-conscious Spain of the 50’s and it blends humour with a certain political background.

What really pushed us was the feeling of a lost territory. It’s a film about an island that never existed, probably not even in the 50’s, yet we miss it, we have a feeling of stolen happiness. Maybe with the pandemic this film makes even more sense”, said the director.

Los Europeos tells us about Spain in the late 50’s but the adaptation to that time was “minimalist” and, as the filmmaker admitted, his intention was to reflect those years “in the small things.” Moreover, he said that his goal was to make a real film and, to that end, they tried not to show what they had from that time as a value in itself. “We wanted to shoot the whole film as if it were something contemporary,” he added.

A cinematographic representation that shows the difference between social classes. Víctor García pointed out that today it would be “very difficult for him to talk about the differences between the Spain in the film, of the late 1950s, and the modern one”, although he admits that there are some differences and that democracy is a big step forward, but “the upper classes continue to be the landlords and landladies of several properties, while the middle and lower classes are seriously impoverished and without resources for health and education”.

In a clearly cheerful mood, the filmmaker adked the spectators to be “patient and generous” with the film, since it’s a feature film that “looks like it’s normal and then it gradually changes until it becomes a rather unpredictable story. “He also joked and confessed that “some people watch the film and it takes a while before they realise they liked it”.

Producers Jaime Gona and Enrique López Lavigne accompanied the director. “The Broadway cinema is very important to me, it is one of those places that create vocations and this film has to be in the cinema as a vocation”, said López Lavigne. In turn, Jaime Gona also wanted to express his gratitude to Seminci for “the courage to celebrate the festival and organise it in these difficult times”.

Finally, the three of them stressed how important it is for spectators not to stop coming to the cinema because they it’s “a safe place” and, therefore, despite the situation we are living, the director stressed that “we must not change our customs”.

 

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