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Arriba Hazaña

anyone77: ''Hail Hazana!,'' made in Spain in 1978, when the memory of the Franco dictatorship was still fresh, may be taken as a parable of the country's political transformation. We are in a Roman Catholic boys' school, where each day begins with the neatly turned-out lads, in orderly columns, singing their anthem: ''Beloved School, Second Home.'' No graffiti mar the walls, and the head of the school maintains surveillance through binoculars from an upstairs window.

But rebellion is afoot, incited by ideologically and sexually repressive measures. Discontent is expressed at first in small incidents - a broken window, a fire. The school director, a priest who fancies himself a master of adolescent psychology, quarrels with his prefect, a tough disciplinarian, over how to handle matters, and the boys take advantage of the disarray to mount a full-fledged rebellion. The revolutionary cry ''Arriba Hazana!'' refers to Manuel Azana, a president of the pre-Franco Republic, about whom the students know nothing except that ''he must be terrific, the way the priests hate him.''

The movie's director, Jose Maria Gutierrez, who also collaborated on the screenplay, builds convincingly to the rebellion, shrewdly exploring the divisions among the students as well as the faculty. Fernando Fernan Gomez as the prefect and Hector Alterio as the head of the school never become outright villains; however benighted their outlook and actions, they truly care for the souls of their charges and are distressed and confused by the uprising. The students are by turns mischievous, frightened, daring and slightly cracked, as they commit small nuisances that smack of sacrilege and work themselves up to demands for sex education and a role in running things. They build a mass movement against compulsory mass.

The movie is especially sharp in its recognition of how readily rebels may resort to demagogy; in a mild way, a couple of the student leaders come to resemble the tyrants they are combating. Unfortunately, Mr. Gutierrez's edifying anti-authoritarianism turns his movie soft. An up-to-date sort of priest (he wears mufti and smokes) takes over, makes reasonable concessions and gives the boys a say in their school's operations. The last fifteen minutes become a civics lesson in democracy - much too rosy, but perhaps just what was needed for the Spain of the time. HAIL HAZANA was based on the novel ''El Infierno y la Brisa'' by Jose Maria Vaz de Soto.
Posted: 22 Nov 2014, 22:58

Die Wilden Hühner und das Leben

GwenKillerby: A perfectly standard youth film, yet, it's so well made and the cast is acting so well, it's evolves to something special. Nice to see it is not zu feige to address lesbian love with 15 year old actresses, their age at the time of shooting.
Posted: 24 Oct 2014, 12:33

Five Children and It

oliver_twist: Magical and some lessons learned within this story/movie. but there are things that so little children might be not like, like Horace's laboratory and his "monster mastery".
Posted: 15 Oct 2014, 06:10

...First Do No Harm

oliver_twist: a great movie, yes. it's somehow promoting the Ketogenic Diet which is worthy of promoting. This is about a simple, happy family who suddenly is challenged by fate. The youngest son is starting to have seizures and receives not-so-sure & painful anti-epileptic treatments. Well, we can't blame the doctors, just doing their job.

Good job Seth Adkins.
Posted: 14 Oct 2014, 14:39

Chess

spnkng: Film take-up of the stage musical Chess by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulveaus.
Fantastic music and interesting story about love, the cold war and the opression and tyranny of the soviet regime as late as in the 80´s.
Posted: 13 Sep 2014, 20:57





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