Screenwriter, director and, for a short time, minister. ngeles González-Sinde is back behind the camera to adapt Gabriella Ybarra’s novel ‘El Commensal’
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In 2015, Gabriela Ybarra surprised with a candid and deep, transparent and painful novel. But always lit. With emotion, but without resentment. restaurant It was the story of two deaths: a mother with cancer, and a grandfather kidnapped and murdered by ETA in 1977, six years before the author was born. Now the story returns as a movie. You Angels Gonzalez-Sinde (Madrid, 1965)Joe Zapatero’s accompanying Minister of Culture, in turn, returns after 14 years as director.
- Why go back to the movies?
- Once you direct, you always want to come back. What I miss the most at this time, and what I love the most, is working with actors. I also believe that to write well, you have to direct.
- How have things changed in cinema? Have you found it easier or more difficult?
- The main change is the way it reaches the masses. It has completely changed. But I wouldn’t say it’s more difficult, we just have to adapt to change. Those of us in cinema always complain. Mind you, I am not indifferent to the past at all.
- His comeback has been anything but decadent. He returns to ETA, a topic he has already dealt with in the film We Are All Invited, of which he was the screenwriter…
- when I read restaurant I like this. It is a highly stressed text and the narrative threads in two different periods make it particularly difficult to adapt. The plot is very thin. But if you look at it from afar, the theme of the book is already in my movies and in my books: how difficult it is to communicate in the family; memory transmission; How the shadow of the untold always distorts the image we see in the mirror.
- and politics.
- Yes, more than politics, I am interested in how the political and social influence intimacy.
- In a short time we have seen on screen the adaptation of Patria, a series about the origins of ETA, the film about Maxbell. Because now?
- For 40 or 50 years we have been frozen in that duality. While the band was active, some reflections could not be made because it was risky or they were inaccurate or lent themselves to misinterpretation. The difference is that now they can come to the surface. They are part of a natural process. To be honest, I get very few movies. And then there is generational change. Gabriela Ybarra is a writer who was born in a democracy. She is the third generation of a family in which years of leadership make a big difference. The first generation is suffering, the second is silent and the third needs to find answers.
- Would you say it can be compared to the historical memory of the Civil War?
- Yes, some aspects are similar. The post-war duels were not elaborated as much as they should have. And that silence remained even after many days. Silence has been a living resource.
- But that historical memory, of both the war and the ETA, is a continuing source of conflict.
- Yes, in Spain we have a hard time accepting that someone thinks differently. It is difficult for us to understand that there are people in the world who think differently from us. The difference of opinion makes us feel very insecure. And that shows that there are issues that we haven’t addressed well.
- For example, is this the reason why the ETA remains a throwaway weapon in Parliament even after its dissolution?
- It is used as an insult. I think the culture has to act against it. Culture should throw light on the human side without playing the game of provocation.
- Buildoo is accused of being the ETA and the government, of relying on them, of using the ETA…
- When the ending of ETA ends, the bodyguard in the film tells the protagonist: “This is what we wanted to see.” This is a bit incomprehensible, because over the years we demanded that they do what they are doing right, that they be a party that obeys the law and is governed by the Constitution.
- What’s left to do?
- My personal experience, since I know the Basque Country very closely, is that the people on the street, the common people, convey a message of coexistence that is perhaps not seen in politics.
- Do you miss active politics?
- not at all. I miss the colleagues and the council of ministers, which were exciting, but not. It’s a very difficult life and I think you should be very grateful to the people who are in the front row. This is not a good time to enter politics.
- Is it worse now?
- Yes, my feeling is that there is a lot more aggression than before and there is little desire to cooperate. That dynamic is very harmful.
- How do you see the new normal audiovisual law in full blown controversy between independent producers and the government?
- I am not up to date at all. I can’t tell.
- His name is associated with the Anti-Piracy Act. Does it bother?
- R. Sometimes it annoys me because Sindhi law darkens my entire professional career in some other field. But on the other hand, it reveals who dominates the Internet and that technology encapsulates the discourse that we make into reality. For the Internet, this is more important than what movies or novels are capable of. Look at Javier Moscoso.
- Don’t you think that time has proved you right?
- I’m glad you told me. The law stated that what was happening was not sustainable and this has been demonstrated. Either the regulated channels of commercial exchanges are followed or the consequences have to be paid. Internet users believed that they were fighting for freedom and this is not the case. In fact, the giants were fattened. Some habits were established, for example, carried forward by the press. Press quality.
- Is it better to work in the government of Zapatero or Pedro Sanchez?
- I do not know. I have done well with one and will do well with the other.
- Has justice been done to Zaptero?
- not at all. Time plays in your favor.
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