The premiere on Friday: ‘La trench infinita’, one of the best Spanish films of the year

August 1, 2020 by No Comments

The film by Jon Garaño, Aitor Arregi and Jose Mari Goenaga is a review of forty years of our country from the perspective of a Franco mole.

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In 2014, the San Sebastian Festival surprised everyone by including a film in Basque called Loreak in the Official Competition Section. Its directors were Jose Mari Goenaga and Jon Garaño, two names unknown to the public, to which was added that of Aitor Arregi, with whom they had written the script. Upon discovering the film, everyone understood what he was doing competing in the Official Section. Inside was a different look, a strange, slow poetry and some filmmakers with a staging as delicate as it was unique.

His next film was a giant leap, and never better said. Handia, the story of the giant of Altzo touched the Golden Shell three years later. An ambitious, big film, that took ten Goya awards. On that occasion it was Jon Garaño and Aitor Arregi who were in the direction, while Jose Mari Goenaga came to help them with the script. The same pieces of the puzzle but changing the order.

Another leap into the void

For their new film they have taken another leap into the void, and the three together in the direction, have risked telling the darkest story of our country as no one had done, without seeing it directly, just listening to it, seeing it through the eyes of fear, of a republican mole who locks himself in his house in 1936 and will not leave until the amnesty law 40 years later. That mole is Higinio, a colossal Antonio de la Torre who gives himself up to exhaustion in a very complex role.

The infinite trench speaks of fear, but also makes the perfect and not at all obvious x-ray, always off, of a country. A country that suffers the way Higinio’s marriage with Rosa suffers – a Belen Cuesta who deserves all the prizes in her leap into drama – condemned not to see each other, not to touch, to live in silence, hidden.

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Through an iron script, structured through ellipsis and around a dictionary of terms that anticipate or have to do with what has happened, Garaño, Goenaga and Arregi confirm themselves as unique and formidable directors. His vision is hypnotic and fascinating, full of risky decisions that always fall on the right side despite the two and a half hours.

The peliculas begins with the war, how could it be otherwise, and with a vibrant camera to the man they deliver the best that has been filmed about the war in Spain. You feel the fear, the bullets, the pain. A chase that ends in a zulo that the viewer will not abandon in the rest of the footage. There begins a film that plays at being Polanski in his construction of atmospheres, atmospheres and paranoia thanks to an exquisite use of sound and construction of the point of view.

Higinio and Rosa

Higinio and Rosa will live pending each noise, each step. That the Francoist neighbor does not come close. A life without curtains, exposed to others and a film full of details that are not explained but that demonstrate to what extent they take care of everything. The women’s clothing that he is putting on, the light that increases, the changes in the town seen through a net curtain. In that confinement Higinio will see the change of a country, and will also suffer a strange fascination for the changes produced. The arrival of television, Hello, openness… everything will cause changes in him that he did not expect and that will be questioned by new generations who ask that the fight continue.

A complex story, available to few, including this trio of directors who is capable of handling explosive material with six hands and doing it with finesse. One of the best Spanish films of the year and the first to put Almodóvar’s absolute dominance in check this year. Dolor y Gloria already has a serious rival in the awards season, and viewers are happy that two films so different and personal coexist and demonstrate the health of our cinema.

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