Carmina or Blow Up

71 minutes 2013

Slight but entertaining, this low-budget Spanish comedy presents a documentary-style portrait of tough-minded, foul-mouthed, 58-year-old Carmina Barrios, who manages a run-down tavern in Seville. Her son, Paco León, wrote and directed the film, casting Carmina and some of her family members and friends as themselves. Though León claims to have based some of the episodes here on actual events, he's kept mum as to which ones, likely out of respect for his mother's reputation: in the course of the movie she shits in her own car, gets violent with a debt collector, and worse. Regardless of whether these incidents really happened, Barrios (who had never acted in a movie before this) is a good sport, throwing herself into the low comedy with vulgar good cheer. In Spanish with subtitles.

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