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Published: 09 Feb 2023

Of all the cinema made under Franco's fascist regime, there are many things to throw into the sea tied with chains so that it never returns to the surface, and some other things (just a few) we can celebrate on, such as Berlanga's cinema. But while Berlanga's cinema is still alive today, there is a moment that represents the cinema of Francoism like no other, and that decades later is still remembered because it also represents what it was like to be a man in Franco’s regime. I am referring to the celebrated moment (in an atrocious film such as Atraco a las 3, by José María Forqué) in which José Luis López Vázquez declares himself "an admirer, a slave, a friend, a servant" (it happens more than once in the film).

Without genuflection, but on his knees, López Vázquez’ character represents several generations of men at the mercy of power, fame, feminine beauty understood as a platonic ideal, and who have a very evident exponent in El Fary when he spoke of the "soft man" without realizing he was also subjugated. The violence defended by people like El Fary only showed their impotence and in 2022 we are grateful because they are disappearing, although gender violence has not, sadly, been extinguished yet.


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