Posted by Larry Gleeson
Kudos to AFI FEST Programming Director Sarah Harris! Harris has delivered a plethora of the best in global cinema for this year’s festival and none bigger than Spanish auteur, Pedro Alamodovar’s latest work, Parallel Mothers. Almodovar was at the historic Chinese Theatre for a Red Carpet Premiere yesterday, November 13th.
Parallel Mothers stars Penelope Cruz with Melina Smit, Israel Elejalde, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Rossy de Palma, Julieta Serrano. The story follows two women Janis and Ana (both single mothers) from the moment they give birth to two daughters.
Janis is thrilled by her accidental pregnancy, seeing it as perhaps her last chance at motherhood, while the adolescent Ana is scared and traumatized by the ordeal. Both women find a lack of support raising their children and turn to each other for support.
What transpires between the two women is both intimate and deeply human and with a surgeon’s precision, Almodovar opens up the narrative and inserts a powerful message for all of humanity with recent (the last 85 years) Spanish history as the backdrop. A top pick for world cinema!
Following the screening, Almodóvar participated in a conversation with film critic Alonso Duralde about the 20+ years from the film’s genesis in 1998 to its present-day fruition. Almodovar spoke loudly and clearly for the need for more empathy and less denial and for more truth and less suppression as the poetic words of “history won’t keep its mouth shut,” were echoed around the theatre walls. Only at AFI FEST 2021.