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La Spagnola
cast: Lola Marcell, Alice Ansara, Lourdes Bartolom´┐Ż, and Alex Dimitriades

director: Steve Jacobs

87 minutes (15 / M 15+) 2001
widescreen ratio 16:9
Tartan DVD Region 0 retail
Madman/AV Channel DVD Region 0 retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by Gary Couzens
Australia, the 1960s. As her husband leaves her, Lola (Lola Marceli), a Spanish immigrant, throws herself on the ground in front of his car, daring him to run her over. This sets the tone for the rest of the story: Lola is consumed with hatred for everyone around her, and takes it out on her daughter Lucia (Alice Ansara)...
   La Spagnola (trans: the Spanish woman) is an autobiographical story written and produced by actress Anna-Maria Monticelli. (She was in a number of notable Australian and New Zealander features in the 1970s and 1980s, originally under the name Anna Jemison.) As most of the dialogue is in Spanish and Italian, it became Australia's entry for the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar. It's an engaging, character-led drama showing Lucia's coming of age, strongly acted by both actresses and with well-paced direction by Steve Jacobs.
   Both the Australian and UK editions reviewed here have an anamorphic picture in the ratio of 16:9. The soundtrack is Dolby surround, with the original mix of English, Spanish and Italian dialogue, with English subtitles where appropriate.
   Tartan edition extras: theatrical trailer, film notes by Tom Dawson, Tartan World Cinema trailer reel. Madman edition extras: director's commentary, deleted scene, Stephen Jacobs' short film The Man You Know, behind the scenes footage, awards footage, cast and crew biographies and interviews, theatrical promotion interview, production notes.
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