MSU Cinema International to Present Comedy-Drama, The Queen of Spain

Mar 27, 2019

As part of its Spanish Film Club Series, Murray State's Cinema International will present Fernando Trueba's 2016 film, The Queen of Spain. Assistant professors of Spanish, Moses Fritz, Ph.D., and Tanya Romero-González, Ph.D., visit Sounds Good to discuss the film and its upcoming presentation.

From the MSU Cinema International website:

"Oscar-winning director, Fernando Trueba, has created a romp with an all-star cast in this "film within a film" brimming with satirical references and intrigues "as it pillories Hollywood's deal-making with the Francisco Franco regime in the 1950s" (Andy Webster, NY Times). We are immersed in the 1950s, as the film diva, Macarena Granada, whose father died in a Franquist prison, returns from Hollywood to Spain to shoot a U.S. blockbuster entitled The Queen of Spain about Isabella I of Castille. In Madrid, not only will she meet up again with her old friends and colleagues from the film crew but she will also have to contend with the dictatorial regime of Francisco Franco."

Francisco Franco was a general and leader of the Nationalist forces that overthrew the Spanish Democratic Republic in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Franco was the head of the government of Spain until 1973 and the head of state until 1975, when he died. While Spain struggled internally, the world was at war for the second time. One of the most difficult parts of Franco's regime began in the aftermath of World War II, when his government was ostracized by the newly formed United Nations. While his policies became somewhat more liberal during the 1950s and 60s, Franco was once labeled the "last surviving fascist dictator" by hostile foreign opinion. 

Despite the severity of the time, The Queen of Spain still manages to present comedic material, whether satirical or otherwise. "Definitely, yes, it is a comedy," Romero-González says. "Although there are many dark moments in the film, that's part of [Spanish] culture. That's how we deal with death and tragedy. Of course, there is a time frame that allowed for the population and for culture to represent this in this manner. This wouldn't have been possible, obviously, forty years ago. Now it is."

Fritz encourages history buffs, movie lovers, and Spanish and American culture lovers alike to see the film. "It is a good watch. They keep it light, which is amazing, considering the subject matter. There's a lot of humor in there, and it's also a visually stunning film. Beautiful sets, beautiful costumes, great acting. There's some really interesting scenes that mix English and Spanish, so in addition to getting an insight into Spanish culture, you also see how American culture is viewed from the outside."

MSU Cinema International will present The Queen of Spain Thursday, March 28th, and Friday, March 29th, at 7:30 p.m. in the Curris Center Theatre. There will be a discussion of the film after the presentations. The screening and discussion is free and open to the public. 

"I think we'll talk a lot about contemporary Spanish politics and about the post-war period after the Spanish Civil War and the second World War. I think also we'll talk a lot about how American culture is perceived abroad and how American foreign policy is perceived abroad, because that's also a very important aspect of the film. So I think there will be a lot to unpack and talk about," Fritz says. 

All films in the Spanish Film Club series were made possible with the support of Pragda, SPAIN Arts & Culture, and the Secretary of State for Culture of Spain. For more information on this film or future Cinema International screenings, visit the Murray State website