Review: 30 Years Of Darkness

Screen-shot-2014-06-04-at-10.59.35-AMREVIEW: 30 Years of Darkness. DIRECTOR – MANUEL H. MARTIN

Imagine hiding in the dark in a small space behind the walls of your own house, hidden from everyone, even your own daughter, in fear for your life, for thirty years. Imagine waiting for an era to pass, a regime to fall, while trapped in isolation…

Nominated for the Best Documentary Award at the 2012 Goyas, this is the unbelievable story of Manuel Cortés, the ‘mole of Mijas.’ When the Spanish civil war ended and the borders closed, hundreds of people were forced to go into hiding to escape Franco’s repression and retribution. They lived for decades, hidden under floorboards or in holes behind walls in their own home, knowing they could be discovered at any time.

One of the most famous of these ‘moles’ was Manuel Cortés, the former mayor of Mijas, Malaga. With the help of his wife, Juliana, he spent 30 years hidden in a small hole in the wall of their house. The reality of living with Fascism is beautifully brought home in this touching and beautiful film in which one person’s life story illustrates a whole cultures’ suffering.

This is not just a story about the Spanish civil war. It’s a story about survival and humanity. About the consequences of war and dictatorship. Beautiful animated sequences capture the drama of Manuel and Juliana’s story while archive and interviews provide historical context. The film often feels more like a drama feature than a documentary and is gripping in a unique and charming way.

“30 Years of Darkness” is a real gem, fusing interviews, analysis and some terrific animation into an intriguing whole that plays like an intelligent thriller. ” – Variety

***** Stars

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