JAIME CHAVARRI | SPAIN | 1976 | 96 MIN | NR | SPANISH W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES
In 1974, young filmmaker Jaime Chávarri set out to make a film about the widow and three sons of Leopoldo Panero, the poet laureate of the fascist Franco regime. As the camera looks on, matriarch Felicidad Panero and her three talented, wildly eccentric sons lounge around the family home, smoke copious cigarettes, and discuss their neuroses and family secrets with unabashed and sometimes shocking candor. Though Chávarri intended the film to be simply a Grey Gardens-esque look at the family’s idiosyncrasies, the film’s very public airing of the Panero clan’s troubles came to be seen as a metaphor for a nation reckoning with the traumas of the Franco era. A cult classic in Spain, EL DESENCANTO has never been released in the US until now.
The screening will be followed by a discussion between Aaron Shulman, author of The Age of Disenchantments: The Epic Story of Spain’s Most Notorious Literary Family and the Long Shadow of the Spanish Civil War (Ecco/Harper Collins), and WHYY arts and culture reporter Peter Crimmins. The book will be for sale in the lobby.
About the Author:
Aaron Shulman is a writer whose work has appeared in publications including The Believer, The American Scholar, The New Republic, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Shulman first lived in Spain while studying abroad and moved back in 2010 after falling in love with a Spanish woman. There, he published pieces about Spanish culture, social movements, and the economic crisis. In 2012, he watched El Desencanto and from that night onward became hopelessly obsessed. He now lives with his family in Santa Barbara, California.