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Ay, Carmela
Spain/Italy - 1990
Directed by Carlos Saura


 

Set in 1938 Spain, a husband and wife variety act are pressed into the service of the Republicans, ordered to perform for the troops at the front.  Being forced from their beds in the middle of the night to make room for wounded soldiers, Carmela (Carmen Maura) and Paulino (Andres Pajares) decide to flee for home, only to fall into the hands of the Nationalists.  The Italian Lieutenant who decides to free them is a self proclaimed "famous theatrical director" back in Italy.  He spares them execution and forces them to serve his cause, rewriting their material to be pro-Fascist.  Carmela, who has heretofore held few political beliefs, must now decide how far she will compromise herself and her talent to save herself and her husband.

Carmen Maura won the European Film Award for Best Actress (1990) for her portrayal of Carmela, while Andres Pajares won the Best Actor award from the Montreal World Film Festival (tied with Marcel Leboeuf in Rafales) (1990).  !Ay, Carmela virtually swept the Goya Awards (the Spanish Oscars) in 1991, winning for Best Film, Best Direction, Best Direccion de Produccion, Best Editing, Best Lead Actor (Andres Pajares), Best Lead Actress (Carmen Maura), Best Make-up and Hairstyles, Best Production Design, Best Screenplay Adapted from Another Source, Best Sound, Best Special Effects, Best Supporting Actor (Gabino Diego) and Best Supporting Actress (Maria Barranco).

Runtime:  102 minutes

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