CARMEN Y LOLA
A love story between two Roma girls.
Saturday 23 March Picture House doors 7.45pm film 8.15pm
Directed by Arantxa Echevarría | Spain | Spanish English subtitles | 105 minutes | 12+
Carmen lives in a Roma community in the suburbs of Madrid. Music can be heard in every corner. Like every other woman she has ever met, she is destined to live a life that is repeated generation after generation: getting married and raising as many children as possible. But one day she meets Lola, an uncommon Roma girl who dreams about going to university, draws bird graffiti and likes girls. Carmen quickly develops a complicity with Lola and discovers a world that, inevitably, leads them to be rejected by their families.
Q & A with Arantxa Echevarria, the first Spanish woman to be featured in the Directors Week at Cannes.
“Carmen & Lola..at times feels like a documentary: such is the authenticity it exudes when it comes to capturing the world of Gypsies, along with its traditions, gatherings and beliefs. To this effect, as she immerses the audience in an unfamiliar environment, Arantxa’s ever-respectful gaze meanders through flea markets, dwellings and neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Madrid with the immediacy and vivacity provided by a handheld camera, truthfully portraying this world without ever falling into the trap of merely depicting local customs and manners, nor presenting folkloric picture postcards, which can be ever so tempting when tackling a topic like the one addressed here.” Cineuropa
DIRECTOR & WRITER: ARANTXA ECHEVARRíA
Being a woman, I think I have a different view of the world, of observing reality and even telling stories. I am a director and a woman, perhaps not in that order, and that marks me. I have felt a moral obligation to give a voice to those who don’t have their own. Cinema has become my loudspeaker for certain causes which I believe must be represented.
Gypsy women “haven’t been in a closet, but a vault.” Women who openly manifest their sexuality and wish to live as lesbians are forced to go far away from the gypsy world, because they feel that they are attacking the legacy of culture and family, their own mothers who raised them to be both perfect wives and mothers. Many have left school very young, have no education, will never be able to find work outside of THEIR environment because, as a general rule, white people don’t hire gypsy women. How are they not going to hide their sexual condition?