The Colegio de Arquitectos de Catalunya commissioned Pere Portabella to make this film for the Joan Miró retrspective exhibit in 1969. There were heated discussions on whether it would be prudent to screen the film during the exhibit. Portabella took the following stance: “either both films are screened or they don’t screen any” and, finally, both Miro l’Altre and Aidez l’Espagne were shown. The film was made by combining newsreels and film material from the Spanish Civil War with prints by Miró from the series “Barcelona” (1939-1944). The film ends with the painter’s “pochoir” known as Aidez l’Espagne.
Since the 1960s, Portabella always maintained a political commitment with all those movements against the Franco dictatorship that supported individual and collective democratic liberties.
In 1977, he was elected Senator in the first democratic elections and he participated in the writing of the present day Spanish Constitution. In 1999, was honoured with the Creu de Sant Jordi, the highest recognition that a person can receive from the institutions of the Generalitat de Catalunya. He has presided over the Fundación Alternativas since 2001.
As a filmmaker Pere Portabella has been a relevant presence in the Spanish film world for the last fifty years. With Films 59, his production company, he fostered some of the most emblematic films in the history of Spanish cinema. Los Golfos by Carlos Saura (1959), El Cochecito by Marco Ferreri (1960) and Viridiana by Luis Buñuel (1961). He directs his own creations combining a heritage of avant-garde culture with breakaway forms of… read more
The documentary footage is undeniably strong but this is really an example of how not to make an art film. The cutting and camera movements impose an interpretation on the images and make it more or less impossible for the viewer too assess their significance. John Berger once did an excellent parody of this kiond of film making when he demonstrated how a Caravaggio painting could be made to appear as a reverantly spiritual image or a lively comedy depending on choice of background music and editing.