The Spanish Civil War, as experienced by the town of Villa Ramiro. The local count and his Fascist nephews ally with the rebels; the count’s son, indifferent to politics at the outset, later makes a choice; the town’s teacher, Antonio Garcia, a pacifist, tries not to take sides but to inspire the children with ideas; a beautiful eccentric woman, Vandale, brings leadership and strength to the town; dwarfs long for equality. The fictive story of Villa Ramiro is inter-cut with archival footage of the war itself. The town is near Guernica, and the local Republicans draw inspiration from its freedom tree.
I got a chance to see a rare copy of this film, and if you can find it, I recommend seeing it. Arrabal condenses the entire Spanish Civil War into the fictional events around and in Villa Rimira. He masterfully illustrates the social relationships between the different classes while creating a fascinating piece. Very visual. Very metaphoric. A must see.
Director: Fernando Arrabal
Writers: Fernando Arrabal, Francesco Cinieri (collaborating writer)
Stars: Mariangela Melato, Ron Faber, Cosimo Cinieri
Country: France | Italy
Release Date: 19 November 1975 (France)
Also Known As: The Tree of Guernica
Filming Locations: Matera, Basilicata, Italy
Format : Matroska
Format version : Version 4 / Version 2
File size : 812 MiB
Duration : 1 h 38 min
Overall bit rate : 1 151 kb/s