Cedar City, Utah The final film of the Latin American and Spanish Film Series, Volver, was shown Tuesday night.
The film centered on the life of the Spanish woman Raimunda as she dealt with covering up her husband’s murder as well as dealing with the recent deaths of her parents and her aunt. During this, the film also shows her sister, who has been living with the ghost of their deceased mother.
The film was introduced by Rachel Kirk, assistant professor of Spanish.
During the introduction to the film, Kirk focused on Pedro Almodóvar, who directed the film.
Kirk compared Volver to some of his other films, pointing out his tendency to have strong female characters in his films.
“Women are always the principle players,” she said.
This was something that Jim Gustafson, assistant professor of Spanish and one of the organizers of the film series, also noticed.
“The women took control over the men that were abusing them,” he said. “And there’s hardly any men in the story at all.”
The film itself was something of a mix of genres, which Kirk described by saying, “Volver begins as a comedy. It quickly becomes a dark movie and, shortly thereafter, it is a comedy again.”
The film also combined many different themes, which Kirk, Gustafson and Iliana Portaro, lecturer of English, listed as being “the importance of family,” “the mix of the traditional with the modern,” “women’s relationships,” and “women breaking out of traditional roles.”
The film also touches on some difficult topics, such as rape, incest and murder, something that Almodóvar films are notorious for.
Another characteristic of Almodóvar films is the Spanish culture that he includes in each one.
“The windmills, the architecture, the cobblestones, the restaurant, the way that people act, the way that people dress, the way that their homes are decorated in the movie, that’s the way that Spain is,” Kirk said.
Gustafson said the film showed Spanish culture so well, it made him want to visit Spain again.
“It makes me want to go back to Spain because I recognize all of those things. The streets, the houses the doors, the flan. All those little things about life in spain,” he said. “I think he tries to do that, because in other films he has that; the culture of spain.”
The next Latin American and Spanish Film Series will be during the fall semester of next year. While the theme for the films has not been chosen yet, Gustafson and Portaro have already began to think about the Series.
“We did documentaries, we did contemporary classics, and we have some ideas, but we definitely want to change it up each year, give something new,” Gustafson said.
Portaro invited people to give input to her and Gustafson, in order to make the Film Series better next time.
“We try to improve every time,” she said. “So, try to change it up a little bit, and we always ask for feedback and try to implement it.”
Suggestions for next year’s Film Series can be made on their facebook page, under SUU Dept. of Foreign Languages & Philosophy.