Spanish cinema in the spotlight at San Sebastian Film FestivalComments
'El Reino' (The Kingdom), was the first Spanish production to be released in the official section of the San Sebastian Film Festival. The film tells the story of Manuel, a politician who sees his comfortable position crumbling as a consequence of the leaks of the corruption plots on which he has been building his fortune. An immense Antonio de la Torre is the main protagonist of the film, with a role in which he always performs well, a nervous character, expressive and constantly altered. The secondary roles are very prominent in the case of José María Pou in particular, playing a higher political official, Barbara Lennie as a journalist, and Luis Zahera as a businessman with a memorable monologue on a balcony. The director's camera is in constant motion throughout the film to "accompany that nervousness of the character” of De La Torre. The rest of the soundtrack is electronic, techno, according to Rodrigo Sorogoyen, because it was perfect for the rhythm he wanted to impose on his story.
Sorogoyen's previous film 'Que Dios nos Perdone' (May God Forgive Us) was already awarded the prize for Best Screenplay at San Sebastian, as well as being one of the best Spanish films of last year. He always writes the libretti together with the scriptwriter Isabel Peña.
The official section has also seen 'The Innocent', a German-Swiss production directed by Simon Jaquemet that deals with religion and its effect on a woman who works as a researcher and uses monkeys to experiment. It is full of symbolism and interpretations but it does not seem to have great significance at the festival. Much more outstanding was '’L'Homme Fidéle'’, the second film by the Frenchman Louis Garrel.