The famous writer Antonio Albajara (Antonio Ferrandis) returned to his native Spain after more than forty years. He arrived in his Gijon somewhat incognito just after receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in Stockholm, and to hint that he arrived home for the first time since the Civil War. In the meantime he settled in America, became a famous and successful writer, a professor at Berkeley where he married and had two now grown children. It was “Volver a Empazar” and the first Spanish film to win an Oscar for Best Non-English Language Film and its plot takes place in 1981, and Antonio is a man in his late sixties. But even though he built a successful career in America and became famous, it will become clear to us that he never regretted having to leave Spain and that he would probably trade all his success and fame for the peaceful life he dreamed of as a young man.
Apart from being a talented writer as a young man, he was also an excellent football player and the main star of the local Sporting. How he will meet people from his youth, who are just as old today as he is, we will learn more and more details about him, and the fateful meeting will be with Elena, his first and actually the only love he had to part with when he left for exile after the war. It exudes a film directed by Jose Luis Garci with a bit of melancholy and sentimental flair and has little to do with a seemingly similar theme made almost 35 years later in Argentina by Gaston Duprat and Mariano Cohn. It is about the film “Distinguished Citizen” or “El ciudadano ilustre” in which we also follow the story of a famous writer who returns to his hometown after decades of absence. But apart from that basic premise, these two films don’t have much in common because Argentine film is actually an extraordinary social satire about the petty bourgeois spirit, while “Volver a Empezar” or “Begin the Beguine” is a touching drama about a lost generation of people whose youth and dreams were interrupted. terrible civil war. Rating 7.5 / 10.
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