Programmed by Federico Rossin
1974: On the same day as Salvador Puig Antich’s execution, Pere Portabella shoots El sopar (The Dinner), where five political prisoners who have served long sentences exchange their experiences in prison. 2018: Pere Portabella includes some addenda where he incorporates a film of Oriol Arau, Puig Antich’s lawyer, shot on November 13, 1974.
The filming of this amazing political gathering was shrouded in the utmost secrecy. To protect the film’s protagonists, its production was also a closely guarded secret with information about the location sent to technicians and participants at staggered intervals. Portabella, his crew and the protagonists risk their lives to record these people, free at last, and their accounts of prison, annihilation, hunger strikes and anti-Franco resistance. How can the struggle be continued in prison and what forms of resistance can be invented? The festive setting creates an astonishing piece of political theatre and makes little attempt to conceal (not without irony) the long, drawn-out suffering and illusions of a generation crushed by the dictatorship.
Cinema historian, independent programmer