Spain, 1999, 101 min, Dir. Pedro Almodóvar, Rated R, Spanish with English subtitles
"Pure Pedro. This is humanism in drag: Almódovar’s passionate redefinition of family values.” – David Ansen, Newsweek Magazine
“If this movie doesn’t touch your heart, consult a cardiologist. You may be missing something.” – Richard Corliss, Time Magazine
Manuela (Cecilia Roth) works in a Madrid hospital. One night she takes her teenaged son Esteban to see a performance of A Streetcar Named Desire, with tragic results. Grief-stricken, she travels to Barcelona to look for Esteban’s father, now a transsexual prostitute named Lola (Toni Canto). She runs into another transsexual friend, Agrado (Antonia San Juan), and a pregnant young nun named Sister Rosa (Penélope Cruz). Each woman will provide comfort to one another in this deeply felt portrait of sisterhood and compassion. The film won several major international awards, including an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
There’s no greater joy for a film programmer than to come across a totally original filmmaker, in complete command of his domain, whose work resembles no one else’s. Such was my elation at discovering the films of Pedro Almodóvar and programming them - for the first time in the U.S. - starting in 1984, year one of the Miami Film Festival. Today, he’s not only the most celebrated Spanish filmmaker, but one of the world’s greatest directors, period. Our series surveys ten classics made over the course of 25 years, and feature not only his famous ensemble, fondly referred to as chicos y chicas Almodóvar, but also actors like Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem who went on to international stardom.
CGAC Director of Programming Nat Chediak was founder/director of the Miami Film Festival (1984-2001).
Program notes adapted from MoMA’s Almodóvar retrospective.