MOVIE TIPS


Agua con Sal

Director: Pedro Pérey Rosado, Spain/Puerto Rico 2005, 94 min.

A young Cuban named Olga arrives in Spain with a scholarship convinced that she has landed the chance of a lifetime. Deciding to stay, she eventually becomes an illegal immigrant, suffering the brunt of marginalisation and, unable to return home, having to get by as she can. Mari Jo is a young girl from a poor Valencian suburb, born into a family with nothing but problems. Fate has marked her life as she too becomes an outcast. Both end up working illegally in a furniture factory where they earn three times less than the minimum legal salary.

Balseros

Director: José María Doménech/Carlos Bosch, Spain 2002, 120 min.

In August 1994, in a startling concession, Fidel Castro opened up Cuba's coastal borders, inviting citizens who wished to leave the country to do so. Some 50,000 people took him up on the offer, jamming onto dangerous makeshift rafts and setting sail for Miami.
BALSEROS tells the stories of seven rafters over the course of seven years, from their departures from Cuba through relocation in the United States. Featuring intriguing footage shot in Cuba during a dramatic period in its history, as well as interviews, emotional telephone conversations and video updates between balseros and their families back home.

Bwana

Director: Imanol Uribe, Spain 1995, 81 min.

Antonio, a taxi driver, his wife, and two chidren arrive one fine afternoon at a solitary beach, looking for sea-shells. However, they will find more than expected: namely, Ombasi and Yambo, two illegal African immigrants, apparently thrown back to the ocean from where they came, in search of a better life in Spain.

El otro lado... un acercamiento a Lavapiés

Director:Basel Ramsis, Spain 2001, 111 min.

A documentary that approaches, through the vision of an immigrant, the majority groups of immigrants who live in the Madrilenian neighbourhood of Lavapiés: Chinese, Latin Americans, Arabs, Bengalese and Africans. The film is a invitation to reflect about the intercultural cohabitance. 

El sudor de los ruiseñores

Director: Juan Manuel Cotelo, Spain 1998, 110 min.

A romanian cellist emigrates to Spain. His dream is to work in an orchestra and gain the money needed to bring over his wife and his daughter. But things are not quite as easy. 

El Tren de la Memoria

Director: Marta Arribas/Ana Pérez, Spain 2005, 85 min.

Spain, 1960's. Two million Spaniards leave the country forced by need. Destination: France, Germany, Switzerland and The Neederlands. Half of them are illegal immigrants who travel without a contract of employment. 80% of them are illiterate. They have to face the wall of different language and habits. Spain, at present: other people in need knock on the doors of a prosperous nation. Almost nobody remembers the story. Josefina does. She keeps memory alive by her travel in the memory train. Destination: Nuremberg, Germany.

Españolas en Paris

Director: Roberto Bodegas, Spain 1971, 102 min.

In the seventies, more than 40 thousand Spanish women worked in Paris as servants. Few had been outside Spain before and the majority hadn’t even been outside their own towns. Among these young girls there are; Emilia, who has left the difficult times back home and has adapted to the great city; Isabel, who struggles to get her son on his feet, who gave her a man who then abandoned her. Dioni, who only thinks about her savings for making a dowry; Francisca who doesn’t understand anything in the huge city and feels lost.

Extranjeras

Director: Helena Taberna, Spain 2003, 75 min.

Documentary that shows the least known and most typical aspects of other cultures through the experience and everyday existence of various immigrant women living in Madrid.

Flores de otro Mundo

Director: Icíar Bollaín, Spain 1995, 108 min.

Patricia, a woman from Dominican Republic, needs a home and an economic security that her illegal status in Madrid does not provide her. Milady, twenty, born in Havana and dying to travel the world. Marirosi has a job, a home, and the most complete solitude... just like Alfonso, Damián and Carmelo, men from the St. Eulalia, a village lacking both marrying women and future. A bachelors' party forces the encounter between them and the beginning of this bittersweet story of sharing a living.

Frontera Sur

Director: Gerardo Herrero, Spain 1998, 95 min.

This historical drama addresses European immigration to the Americas (in this case to Buenos Aires, Argentina) during the last two decades of the 19th century. Among its main characters are a Spanish immigrant, a German one, and an established "Argentine." They compete for the affection of a more established female Spanish immigrant, now a successful businesswoman, albeit a prostitute.

Hiyab -The Headscarf

Director: Xavi Sala, Spain 2005, 8 min.

At first, Fatima defies her teacher, who wants her to take off her headscarf in class.

Las cartas de Alou

Director: Armendáriz- Montxo, Spain 1990, 100 min.

Alou is a young Senegalese who arrives in Spain looking for work encouraged by his friend Mulia, who has been running for some years here. Earns just enough to survive picking fruit, selling bisuterái, and so on. His journey continues towards the north, where he hopes to find his friend. Meanwhile goes to people with knowledge and language. Finally found Muli and starts a relationship with a young Spanish, Carmen. Despite that, Alou will be forced to continue their journey.

Paralelo 36

Director: José Luis Tirado, Spain 2003-04, 70 min.

Latitude 36, which passes through the Straits of Gibraltar, constitutes the border between Spain and Morocco. The documentary depicts the experince of clandestine immigrants from North Africa arriving on boats to Tarifa, Spain, where the Guardia Civil awaits them and takes them into immigrants detention centres. In Spanish and Arabic, with English subtitles.

Pobladores

Director: Manuel García Serrano, Spain 2006, 96 min.

Two students from the same school in Vallecas Villa (Madrid) part ways for summer vacation and return to two overwhelmingly different sociocultural landscapes to stay with their families. Karlita heads back to Ecuador, while Soraya treks back to Morocco. The intertwined stories reflect innumerable differences in culture and outlook but share an underlying theme: education as a means of escaping from the lower-tiered rungs of society. Both young women believe that an educational ticket out of her native land could help to forge a less challenging life for herself and her family.

Poniente

Director: Chus Gutierrez, Spain 2002, 95 min.

After living in Madrid for many years as a teacher, Lucia returns to her hometown after her father's death results in the inheritance of his tomato farm. While fighting the community's racism toward the new illegal workers, Lucia falls in love with the farm's accountant, Curro, a man who shares her cause. 

Princesas

Director: Fernando León de Aranoa, Spain 2005, 113 min.

Caye and Zulema, two young prostitutes in Madrid, develop a friendship based on their desire for a better life. Initially they meet when Zulema, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, steals one of Caye's customers for a lower fee, but when she finds Zulema badly beaten in her apartment, they quickly learn to support each other. While Zulema is selling herself to support her young son back home, Caye hides her profession from her middle class family. Even in their grim circumstances, they sometimes pretend they are princesses to hold onto hope, even though they work in an industry where hope does not exist.

Retorno a Hansala

Director: Chus Gutiérrez, Spain 2008, 95 min.

Martin owns a funeral home in Algeciras, Spain, right on the Strait of Gibraltar. He has been struggling financially, so when the Spanish police recruit his services after a number of bodies are found on a nearby shore, he accepts the call. One of the dead men clenches a piece of paper with a telephone number, the only clue to the origin of the deceased. It is Leila who comes to identify the corpse...

Si nos dejan

Director: Ana Torres, Spain 2004, 80 min.

Made by migrants, this documentary is based on interviews with undocumented people living in Barcelona and coming from Eastern Europe, South America, Africa or the US. The documentary follows the protagonists from the moment they leave their home countries and provides a powerful insight into the diverse experiences of people living without a legal status.

The Tailor - El sastre

Director: Óscar Pérez, Spain 2007, 30 min.

In this film the Spanish documentary maker Óscar Pérez takes us into the bowels of a small tailor's shop in the centre of Barcelona. It is run by the Pakistani Mohamed, who has hired as his assistant the older Indian–born Singh. In a minimalist style, and with a particular brand of humour, the director captures in just a few long shots the men's everyday routine. In the case of Mohamed, the working day is full of emotionally tense moments, whether quarrelling with customers about a lost pair of trousers or a poorly sewn coat, or arguing with Singh about his position and pay. This very intimate portrait of Singh and the perpetually annoyed Mohamed (who believes Pérez will make pots of money out of him with this film) offers an interesting insight into the two men's thinking and their adaptation to a different cultural environment.

Un franco, 14 pesetas (Crossing the border)

Director: Carlos Iglesias, Spain 2006, 102 min.

Spain 1960. Two friends, Martin and Marcos, decide to go to Switzerland in search of work. They leave their families in Spain and set out on a journey towards a new life in the Europe of progress and freedom. Working as mechanics in a factory and living in a small industrial town, they encounter a completely different mentality. The arrival of Pilar, Martin’s wife with their son Pablo and Mari Carmen, Marcos’s girlfriend, brings an end to their lives as single men in a country with so much freedom. Martin and Pilar continue to work whilst little Pablo starts making friends at school. When Martin’s father dies they feel it is time to go home as they have achieved what they came in search of. 

Vida de Moro

Spain, 2000

A documentary produced by Canal + that examines the complex phenomenon of immigration through the intimate portrait of four North Africans installed in the Andalusian village of El Ejido.

14 Kilometros

Director: Gerardo Olivares, Spain 2007, 95 min.

Violeta, a teen who lives in a riverside village in Mali, has only an arranged marriage with a lascivious old man to look forward to, and decides to run off to a faraway place. Meanwhile, in neighboring Niger, mechanic Buba is a skilled soccer player; his brother, Mukela, suggests he should try his skills in Europe, where "nobody dies of hunger."


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