The gift that became a movie

In "Familystrip", Lluís Miñarro portrays his parent?s generation

Alba Falcó Vila

May 25, 2010 09:17 PM

The Catalan filmmaker Lluís Miñarro, the driving force behind movies such as "El cant dels ocells" and "El brau blau", has just made a new film. "Familystrip" was originally a gift for his parents on their 65th wedding anniversary, but the idea ended up as a full-scale movie production. The film portrays a whole generation marked by the Civil War and by Franco’s regime.
In the film, Miñarro does not move from his parent’s bedroom. Shot in black and white, he makes a spontaneous speech based on his parent’s life together. Miñarro added a special soundtrack to the movie: Georges Moustaki as a Mediterranean reference and Jimmy Fontana because his parents always listened to him.

"Familystrip", produced by Eddie Saeta, has already been presented in a dozen festivals, including San Sebastián, Málaga, Montenegro, Tetuan or Tubinguen. Miñarro says that the work has been welcomed with great excitement. He also expects a good reception in Catalonia, where the premiere will take place on Friday May 28th.

At the beginning, "Familystrip" was intended as a gift to the director's parents on their 65th wedding anniversary. He hired a painter, Francesc Hierro, in order to take a portrait of all three of them. In the first session Miñarro realized that he could draw on many of his parent’s anecdotes, thoughts and feelings so he decided to record it all on video to have “a good memory” of them. But it was not all so easy. After seven sessions and 30 hours of video, once the recordings were completed the painter took his own life. That’s why Miñarro kept the project in a drawer for some months.

Finally, Miñarro managed to lend shape to "Familystrip", a "spontaneous" and almost documentary film that does not pretend to be an example “of what cinema should be”. However, the director assures “I was naked before the camera, I showed who I am and where I come from”.