9 - 22 September 2011 | AFI Washington, DC Click here for Washington Programme
With the death of Franco, whose dictatorship lasted nearly 40 years, Spain entered a period with an unsteady socio-political atmosphere on one side and a burst of cultural liberation and experimentation on the other. An exploration of new forms of representation - without the restrictions of the old censors - found space in all fields of art, which mingled among each other with no inhibitions.
The period in question runs from the death of Franco at the end of 1975 to the end of the 80s, when democracy had already consolidated in the country, and comprises what has come to be known as 'la Movida Madrileña', which saw such talents as Pedro Almodóvar and Iván Zulueta emerge in the field of cinema. The Movida was mainly a music movement to which many young bands from the capital contributed but, in its messiness – with mottos like 'Madrid nunca duerme' ('Madrid never sleeps') or '¡Esta noche todo el mundo a la calle!' ('Everybody in the street tonight!') - its spirit extended to such fields as film, television, photography, fashion, comics and fanzines. Comedia Madrileña took place in the same period and, though in some senses it wasn't as wild, it shared with the Movida its desire for freedom and no rules. Representatives of this movement are Fernando Trueba and Fernando Colomo. Their first films were often made among friends whose priority was to enjoy life, sex, grass and have fun, reflecting the mood of much of the youth of the time.
Though most of the film industry was still concentrated in Madrid, Spain's cinema also found a new pluralism, and some communities – particularly in Catalonia and the Basque Country – found a way to express their particular identity through cinema.