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Spain, 1996 (MIFF 1997, Made in Spain)

Director: Augustin Díaz Yanes

Gloria becomes an alcoholic prostitute in Mexico after the maiming of her Toreador husband. Having been embroiled in a shootout between Mexican gangsters and police, she uses a stolen address book to try to obtain a share of the money which is being laundered by the Mexi­cans in Madrid. Visually stylish action sequences recall Yanes' avowed debt to Scorsese's films, while Victoria Abril expands her range of screen personae in a role that requires physical action as well as the portrayal of fierce determination.

Gloria's quest for money to support her family offsets the film's gangster elements with an emphasis on female loyalties. Her relationship with her mother-in-law introduces a theme of maternal authority, paralleled by a matriarchal figure in the Mexican mob. The association between sacrifice and economic survival that exists for the female characters is seen along­side the fate of one gangster, whose spiritual dilemma over his efforts to stop killing, for the sake of his daughter, ends in a different sacrifice.

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