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Spanish Film to be Screened at UB

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: October 30, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- "Fresh Films in French, Italian & Spanish" at the University at Buffalo will present "Solas (Alone)," a film directed and scripted by Benito Zambrano, at 8 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Screening Room in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

The screening will be free of charge and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Melodia E. Jones Professorship in French at UB, the Franco-American Cultural Fund, the Florence Gould Foundation, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the Ministry of Culture (CNC).

"People should be born twice: once rich, once poor, so the rich would know poverty, and the poor would know happiness."

So says María, who works as a cleaning woman in Seville. Having grown up in a small Andalusian town in a dysfunctional family, she allows cynicism to dominate her life. Although she hates her alcoholic father for the way he neglected her and abused her mother, she is an alcoholic herself and allows herself to be abused in relationships. When an unwanted pregnancy and an unexpected visit from her mother coincide to shake up her life, María is forced to a turning point.

This understated movie, released in 1999 in Spanish with English subtitles, was overshadowed by Almodóvar's "All About My Mother," released the same year. It received very limited distribution in the United States, and has not been released for home viewing -- all of which makes this an unusual chance to see a well-regarded film that approaches contemporary social issues with realism and honesty.

The film, which stars Ana Fernández and María Galiana, is unrated, but is recommended for audiences ages 18 and over due to adult situations -- what the Spanish call "muy fuerte."

For more information, contact Elizabeth Scarlett at 645-6000, ext. 1197, or at scarlett@acsu.buffalo.edu.