RACE, THE SPIRIT OF FRANCO (1977) [Feature]

Spain (MIFF 1979 )
Director: Gonzalo Herralde

Perhaps the most notorious post-war propaganda film was made in 1942 by Spanish director Saenz de Heredia. It was called Race, and Franco himself was believed to have closely supervised the script. So the film is believed to reflect directly Franco's ideas: his own conception of patriotism, his implacable hostility to the communists, the necessity of religion, and the virtues of family life.

Catalan director Gonzalo Herralde has included excerpts from the original black and white feature in a new film, together with interviews with Franco's sister, Pilar, and actor Alfredo Mayo, who played the hero in Race. Pilar talks about her brother and the family in general; Mayo comments on various episodes in Race: his arrest and execution for spying, the miraculous healing of his mortal wound, and his repeated separations from his girlfriend, Marisol, in order to fight in battle. He also tells about his own personal involvement with the Civil War.

Herralde has described his aim in making the documentary as carrying out an analysis of Franco through Race, showing up the extended doctrine hidden within the original film, and illustrating the truth behind the propaganda that Franco created.

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