14 April 2022

Viva el Cine: The Moro Spanish Film Festival Returns to Canberra

| Jimmy Bernasconi
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Video call between man and woman

When tragedy strikes, Adam’s teacher becomes a lifeline he didn’t know he needed in Language Lessons. Photo: Supplied.

From the stone-built villages of Mallorca to the lakes of Southern Chile, the 2022 Moro Spanish Film Festival promises to transport audiences all over the Spanish-speaking world.

Held exclusively at Palace Cinemas from 20 April to 15 May, here are just some of the 34 films on offer at this year’s festival.

Our top pick

If the sight of subtitles sends you loco, perhaps consider Language Lessons. Starring Natalie Morales (Parks and Recreation) and indie superstar Mark Duplass (Creep), this film simulates the experience of learning a new language. After receiving 100 Spanish lessons for his birthday, Adam (Duplass) engages the services of Cariño (Morales) a Spanish teacher based in Costa Rica. Shot entirely from the two characters’ perspectives as they video chat online, the film’s dialogue gradually transitions out of English as Adam’s (and the audience’s) grasp of Spanish improves.

Movie still with man and woman

Hollywood power couple Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) face personal and professional obstacles that threaten their careers. Photo: Supplied.

Star spotlight: Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem

Celebrating their respective 2022 Oscar nominations for Being the Ricardos and Parallel Mothers, this year’s festival is screening two iconic collaborations of Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

Audiences can revisit the sensual modern classic Jamón Jamón, the first film in which Cruz and Bardem shared the silver screen. There’s also Loving Pablo, in which Bardem portrays notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar as he engages in a tumultuous love affair with Columbian journalist Virginia Vallejo (Cruz).

There will also be an encore screening of Parallel Mothers for everyone who missed it earlier this year.

Movie still depicting two men in water

Mediterraneo: The Law of the Sea is the incredible story about a few good men who risked their own lives to save many others. Photo: Supplied.

Goya Award-winning films

If it’s critical acclaim you’re after, check out some of these Goya Award-winning titles.

Starring 2022 Best Actress winner Blanca Portilla, Maixabel tells the true story of a woman who dared to meet the Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) terrorists who killed her husband.

Set during the infamous Autumn of 2015, Mediterraneo: The Law of the Sea follows a team of Spanish lifeguards fighting to rescue thousands of migrants fleeing armed conflict.

Girlfriends is a dramatic comedy about a young photographer coming to terms with her working-class background, and The Daughter is a dramatic thriller about a fifteen-year-old girl living in a centre for juvenile offenders.

Movie still depicting three women

An accident will test Sara and Yarisa’s intimate loyalty and the innocent illusion that nothing will separate them in Carajita. Photo: Supplied.

Cine Latino (Presented by Inspiring Vacations)

In addition to the many Spanish titles, there is also a selection of films showcasing the best of contemporary Latin American cinema.

Set in 1970s Columbia, Forgotten We’ll Be depicts the life of human rights activist Héctor Abad Gómez.

Carajita unpacks the Caribbean’s colonial legacy as it tells the story of three distinct women living in the Dominican Republic.

And for those seeking dinner and a show, the Embassy of the Argentine Republic is providing drinks and nibbles at the Canberra premiere of The Big Love Picture, a romantic comedy about a successful actress and her failing filmmaker boyfriend.

Family fiesta

It’s important the little ones get a taste of Spanish cinema as well. In The Kids are Alright, a group of unsupervised youngsters wreak havoc on a runaway train. And if you love Disney’s Encanto try giving it a whirl in Spanish!

For festival session times and more information, visit the official Spanish Film Festival website.

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