Life generally overrules principles. Those having a hard time of it must change something… Luis García Berlanga is one of the most extraordinarily exciting figures in Spanish cinema. All his films are shot through with an absurd approach bordering on the grotesque. And yet his 1963 film The Executioner is an incredibly simple tale: an upstanding young man employed by an undertaker's firm marries the executioner's daughter. Then the father-in-law retires. Official lodgings are available onl...y to an active executioner. A solution awaits…
The Executioner created quite a storm in its day. Abroad - for instance at the 1964 premiere in Venice - it was met with a whirlwind of enthusiasm. In Franco's Spain, the storm was of a much more political nature. Understandably. Every dictatorship is paranoid by necessity, and although Berlanga's film bears not even the slightest resemblance to a political statement, the diligent agents of the powers that be deemed it a work of subterfuge. All this was particularly baffling because it came at a time when the Generalísimo was making attempts to open up to the world after a long period of isolation.
Berlanga's satire identifies an eternal moral dilemma in the world of the 'industrious poor'. Let's confront it!
The series is made possible with the support of the Embassy of Spain and the Cervantes Institute.
Presented by: Palace of Arts
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