Una Pasion Singular (2002)

 

 

 

Director:  Antonio Gonzalo. 

Starring:  Daniel Freire (Blas Infante), Marisol Membrillo (Angustias), Juan Diego (Alejandro), María Galiana (Ginesa), Manuel Morón (Pedro vallina), Manuel de Blas (Pedro Parias), Carlos Álvarez (Ignacio), Antonio Dechent (Comatas), Raquel Infantes (María Castilla), Manuel Caro (Doctor)

Blas Infante, "the father of Andalusia," in the Spanish Civil War

 

Spoiler Warning:  below is a summary of the entire movie.

Blas Infante arrested by black shirts.  He is accused of communicating with Moscow.  His wife tells them to treat Blas well because her brother is Pedro Parias, the new governor.  He is put in a room with other men who have been arrested.  They tell him that prisoners are taken out at night and they don't come back.  Reports are that they make the prisoners run and then shoot them in the back. 

Flashback to when Blas was a young lad.  He is very fond of his grandfather who bemoans the actions of the rebels in Cuba.  He is sent to a Catholic boarding school where the scraps of their dinners are put together, heated up and served to the poor.  This made Blas very aware of the terrible gap between rich and poor. 

Back to the present.  The mayor wants to see Blas.  They tell Blas that he should call someone who can help him.  So he calls Col. Camacho.  He tells the Colonel that he has been arrested and is at Coria Headquarters.  (The sergeant's orders are to kill Blas at night.)  The Colonel tells the sergeant not to do anything until he can get there.  On the road, the Colonel in his car meets Blas with his executioners in another car.  He tells the handlers that he will escort Blas to Seville.  There they put detainee Blas in a small room.  No visitors are allowed. 

Flashback.  Blas is a young man.  He's from Casares, but is working in Penaflor. Blas has a legal degree and works as a notary public.  His colleague is an older lawyer named Garcia.  They head out to a costume party where they flirt with the girls and take a ride with two of them.  Blas talks to an audience about the region of Andalusia.  He says it has the reputation as being a barren land full of hungry peasants.  He meets a Georgist (a member of an international movement that works for the redistribution of resources among people) and joins the group.  Soon he is active in defending poor people who are about to be evicted from their living places. 

Back to the present.  Col. Comacho meets the son of the Governor, who tells him that he should be ashamed of defending communists like Blas. 

Flashback.  Blas meets Angustia, the daughter of his colleague, and he takes an immediate liking to her.  Angustia seems to like him also.  But her parents warn her of his radical ideals.  Angustia is not worried.  Blas has written a book mixing Georgism with regionalism.  His goal is to abolish private property of the land.  His Seville section of the Georgists is known for its radical ideas and some members feel they are contaminating the ideal of the organization.  Eloy Vaquero offers them the use of the Republican Center for Laborers. 

Back to the present.  Blas gets to see his wife.  He is then moved again. 

Flashback.  Blas meets a pretty widow, Maria Castilla.  They both seem to like each other a lot.  In meetings Blas and his colleagues push to make sure Constitutional Project of Antequera 83 is approved demanding a Republican, autonomous, sovereign Andalusia.  Blas declares his love for Angustia.  Angustia is positive about it, thinking she can tame him when they are married.  The Parias side of the family hates Blas. 

Back to the present.  Blas is put in a large room very crowded with lots of people.  The former governor is there also.  The women prisoners are held upstairs.

Flashback.  1919.  Blas and others write a manifesto that says Andalusia must be free.  There is a march of 12,000 men in Cordoba.  The government is scared of the "free Andalusia" movement.  There will be a general strike in Cordoba in two weeks.  Blas is late to his own wedding and Angustia is mad.  She is also mad later when she realizes that they don't have much money.  Most of his money goes to his political causes and they have to live below the level she is used to even though he has a very good job.  He has a fight with his wife.  And another.  And he is packing to go to Madrid.  He leaves. 

The police shut down their meeting place.  General Primo de Rivera is getting very strong.  Blas meets Maria Castilla again, this time on the beach.  They see each other on occasion.  Now they live in a dictatorship.  His wife visits him in Madrid.  She want him back and is much more cooperative with Blas.  He cuts off his relationship with Maria.  They have a child.  Now Primo's dictatorship has fallen and they want to move closer to Seville in Andalusia. 

Back to the present.  The son of the governor tells the Colonel that the governor is too busy to see him.  Rebels are fighting to make Francisco Franco the strong man of Spain.  It seems ironic to Blas because he and his fellows have worked with his brother, Ramon Franco.  General Sanjurjo takes Tablada and is arresting their officers.  Blas notes that in two years of being a Republic nothing much has changed.  A coup is being planned with the help of Gen. Sanjurjo.  Blas helps write the musical anthem for Andalusia. 

Eloy Vaquero is now a minister in the government.  They are busing throwing thousands of people into prison and executing lots of them.  The repression in Andalusia reaches a terrible level. 

July 12, 1936.  They fly their Andalusian flag beside that of the Spanish flag.  Angustia begs her uncle the Governor not to kill Blas, but the plea falls on deaf ears.  Blas and another man are driven to the killing road, told to get out and start running down the road.  They shoot both men in the back.  But Blas is not dead yet.  He drags himself to a monastery, but the sisters there are afraid to help him.  He dies on the lawn.  His body is picked up and thrown into a huge mass grave filled with people, some dead, some still alive.  The government then moves the Infante family out of their house. 

 

A pretty good movie but at times a little hard to follow.  It helps if you know the historical background.  Blas was playing with fire and he certainly paid the price, but a dedicated man like him could hardly do less. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.

 


Historical Background:

 

19th century  --  peasant anarchism in Andalusia. 

1833-1868  --   reign of Isabella II.  During this time Andalusia was a hotbed of anarchist insurgency. 

1873  --  First Spanish Republic declared.  Andalusian nationalism emerges. 

1883  --  an assembly at Antequera made a draft of a Constitution (called the Antequera Constitution).  It called for an autonomous republic inside a federal state. 

1885  --  birth of Blas Infante Pérez de Vargas in Casares (Malaga).  He attended school in Malaga and Cordoba.  He got a law degree from the University of Granada.

1909  --  Blas Infante returned to Casares.  He worked as an assistant to his father, who was the Secretary to the Municipal Courts.

1913  --  at the International Congress in Ronda, Blas Infante said:  "The moment has come for the privileged to die."  He wrote for his cause in the magazine Betica

1916  --  the first Centro Andaluz established in Seville.

1918  --  Blas Infante organized an assembly at Ronda.  They adopted a charter, the current flag and a coat of arms. 

1918-1919  --  Infante elected Diputado (council representative) for the district of Gaucin-Casares-Estepona.

1919  --  Infante married Angustias Garcia Pradas (who gave birth to three daughters and a son).

1931-1939  --  Second Spanish Republic.  The Andalucismo was represented by the Junta Liberalista, a federalist political party led by Infante. The Georgist Infante is considered the founder of modern Andalusian nationalism.

1931  --  Infante created the Liberal Junta of Andalusia in Seville.

1936 (July 17) - 1939 (April 1)  -- the Spanish Civil War. 

1936  --  increased interest in favor of the Autonomy Statute for Andalusia. Blas Infante proclaimed President of the new Assembly.

1936  --  Infante imprisoned.

1936 (night of August 10)  --   Infante was shot dead on the side of the Carmona road.  His last words were:  "Long live free Andalucia!"  He was killed because he formed part of a candidacy of revolutionary tendencies in the elections of 1931 and successive ones since 1936 and he worked as a propagandist for a separate Andalusian region. 

1939  --  Francisco Franco comes to power. 

 

 

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