Josefina Molina: Still Battling After All These Years

Variety | 9/22/2019 | John Hopewell
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SAN SEBASTIAN — She isn’t done yet. The battling character of Josefina Molina, winner of Spain’s 2019 National Cinematography Prize, was glimpsed in her acceptance speech at the San Sebastian Festival on Saturday.

She used part to thank those who had given crucial help, such as, among women, editors Nieves Martin (1981’s “Función de Noche,” 1984 series “Teresa de Jesus”) and Carmen Frías (1993’s “La Lola se va a los puertos), and dedicated the prize to Spain’s Association of Women Cineasts and a very early version of herself: “a young girl from Cordoba born during the Civil War who did everything possible through thick and thin to break with the inertia which destined women to become housewives.”

Carmen - Alborch - Lucidity - Carmen - Calvo

But, having remembered Carmen Alborch and her “intellectual lucidity” and thanked Spanish Vice-president Carmen Calvo for her support of female filmmakers, the brunt of her speech – applauded by Spain’s cultural establishment which packed out the Tabakalera’s main hall – was a salvo fired off at “the shameful, intentional refusal to normalize in society laws of equality approved in Parliament.”

That sense of society turning back history was already anticipated in her most ambitious film, “Esquilache,” written with Joaquín Orostrell and Molina’s faithful producer José Sámano. and the story of Italian Leopoldo de Gregorio, the Count of Esquilache, brought to Spain by Carlos III during the Enlightenment to modernize the country.

Reforms - Ban - Capes - Weapons - Instance

However enlightened, his reforms – a ban on long capes used to hide faces and weapons, for instance -spark riots. “The king and his ministers dream of a modern country. We will not permit a minority to threaten this dream,” Esquilache declares in a speech. Confronted by rebellion, orchestrated by a sacked former minister, however, Carlos III is forced to return Esquilache to Italy.

The first woman director to receive Spain’s National Cinematography Prize,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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