Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Hola, ¿estás sola? (Iciar Bollain, 1995)

Sunday 11 june 2023, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Hola, ¿estás sola? (Hi, Are You Alone?) * 1995 * by Iciar Bollain * 92 minutes * In Spanish with (special) English subtitles. doors open at 20:30, intro & film start at 21:00.

Behind this daft film title lurks an extremely rare gem from Spain’s speckly tradition of social realism. Except that, in this incarnation, it has left the arid countryside with a backpack or two in its freshest everyday summer top.

Hola tells the story of two young women who would much later be referred to as the ni-ni generation: ni estudia ni trabaja, i.e. neither working nor studying. Suddenly finding themselves homeless, they pack their bags and head southward to Big-Hotel-land dragging their smelly feet over asphalt and traintracks. Their intellectual baggage is so light they don’t even have their words to describe the quest they’re embarking on. But below this apparent poverty of ideas lies a deep humanity and a clear sense that adventures and ‘personal growth’ are pointless unless they’re a shared experience.

This little early film by Iciar Bollaín features some of the most delicious lines of dialogue she has ever written, in tandem here with Julio Medem, who by 1995 had made a name for himself with films like Vacas and The Red Squirrel. It features an astonishing Candela Peña. Already in this debut role, she let her enormous heart not only shine bright, but also make space for an arguably unworthy co-star: Silke, a pretty face who was being pushed by the film industry to be Spain’s one and only grunge star. Kind of like a Kurt Cobain, but for tampon commercials. Together with a few supporting male characters, these two girls made waves in the summer of 1995. And then they were forgotten, pretty much forever.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net