Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

30 Years of Almodóvar

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Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar marks 30 years in movies this year with the release of his 17th feature film, Los Abrazos Rotos (Broken Embraces), starring recent Oscar-winner Penélope Cruz in an intriguing love triangle involving a man left blind by an accident. For Almodóvar’s fans, the new film offers an opportunity to celebrate one of the world’s most influential contemporary filmmakers.

According to Colombian filmmaker Andi Baiz of Dynamo Capital, one of Almodóvar’s key achievements was to “put Spanish cinema on the map.” But Michel Ruben, a Spanish-based producer who worked with Almodóvar from 1992 to 2002, adds that the Spanish film giant brings a “level of freedom and creative control to the screen” unmatched by any other modern director.

The list of Almodóvar’s cinematic achievements speaks for itself. He won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1999 (All About My Mother) and for Best Original Screenplay in 2002 (Talk to Her). The premise for his new film, whose main character lives and loves in darkness, came to Almodóvar as he fought off months of debilitating migraine headaches. In March, Broken Embraces premiered in Spain. Watch for the U.S. debut in November 2009.


Jason Marczak is deputy director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council. He previously served as senior editor of Americas Quarterly and director of policy at Americas Society and Council of the Americas.

Tags: film, Pedro Almodóvar
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