© Alamode Film/Filmagentinnen

8 Namen für die Liebe (Spanish Affair, Ocho apellidos vascos)
Spain 2014

Opening 11 Jun 2015

Directed by: Emilio Martínez Lázaro
Writing credits: Borja Cobeaga, Diego San José
Principal actors: Clara Lago, Dani Rovira, Carmen Machi, Karra Elejalde, Alberto López

During a Flamenco festival the sleek macho Rafa falls in love with the bad-tempered Amaia who is visiting from the north. His friends are shocked. This cannot be; it is an absolute “no-no“. Amaia is from the province of the Basques, the wild country, the enemy country. The Basques have their own language and are known to be hostile against the rest of the country, fighting for their “freedom” from Spain. The full-of-himself Rafa is not to be deterred and is very sure that Amaia is also pining for him.

Even though he has never been outside his area, he bravely mounts the bus for the long ride from sunny Andalusia to the rainy north to find his girl. When he finds her, the shock is mutual. The pretty flamenco girl is now dressed in baggy pants, looks like a hippy and bangs the door right into his face. She is fed-up with men as her fiancé had dropped her just before the wedding. And now her estranged father turns up. Suddenly, Rafa is the man who can help by pretending to be her fiancé until her father leaves again. No doubt a merry-go-round of confusion is started.

This romantic comedy is very much in the style of the French Welcome to the Sch’tis, playing on the cultural differences and prejudices. It even touches on the political situation with much humor and good-will. There is plenty of mockery and even sarcasm. Surely the actions are exaggerated and feed on clichés but nevertheless are very amusing. Some of the fun is also in the difference of dialect and the playing with words. The film should be watched in the original (there are German subtitles). This culture-clash comedy has already been seen by more than 10 million people in Spain. Dani Rovira received the Spanish Goya Award as “Best Young Talent” for his role as Rafa. (Birgit Schrumpf)

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