This year Hollywood will speak Catalan
Catalan film was selected to represent Spain in the next Oscar ceremony.
Agustí Villalonga's film is the first Catalan film in the race for the Hollywood prize. This is the icing for this production, which last February, 2011 got the top Spanish film prize: the Goya.
The emotional portrait of postwar in Catalonia defeated its two rivals: “La voz dormida” (The sleepy voice), melodrama on the Franco regime in prisons by Benito Zambrano, and “La piel que habito” (The skin I live in), by Pedro Almodóvar, the most international of these three directors.
Now it is the American Cinema Academy that has to decide if “Pa Negre” (Black Bread) deserves to be included in the final short list. Many movies from different countries will try to get a place to compete for the Oscar, and it will not be until next January, 2012 that this short list will be published by the Academy.
In a year when many voices are trying to corner the Catalan language, it is a landmark that academics have voted for a film in that language. The director declared: "It's good news that the richness and diversity are something positive, not evil”. In a country where many languages are spoken, the election of a Catalan film instead of a Spanish one, shows the development and the country's respect for all cultural forms.
Thinking In Cinematic Terms, Not Politcal Ones
Many people raised their voices against this masterpiece saying that it can’t represent Spain because it is not in Spanish. But we must bear in mind that Catalan is an official language in Spain, and the main valued factor to chose this movie was its unquestionable quality from a cinematic point of view.
On one hand, many others celebrated the choice of this movie as a political success for the independence of Catalonia. But, once again, we must think in cinematic terms to evaluate the film, not about political ones. This a very beautiful story about the Spanish postwar, and the piece is not worried at all about the current political situation in Catalonia. The actors use the Catalan language because the performance is located in Catalonia and suffered by Catalans, that’s it.
Thus, all cinema fans are able to enjoy this amazing movie about the Catalan postwar period in its real language. But, besides the language the movie was recorded, this movie must be seen as marvelous piece our contemporary cinema.