Solas (film)

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Spanish film poster
Directed by Benito Zambrano
Written by Benito Zambrano
Starring María Galiana
Ana Fernández
Carlos Álvarez-Nóvoa
Distributed by Fireworks Pictures
Release date
  • 1999 (1999)
Running time
101 minutes
Country Spain
Language Spanish

Solas is a 1999 Spanish film written and directed by Benito Zambrano.

The film explores the lives of a mother and daughter and their struggle for survival and happiness. Both of the women in the story are portrayed as alone (sola, plural solas), each in her own way.

It won five Goya awards in 2000 and several other prizes.

Plot synopsis[edit]

Solas (Alone) tells the story of María (Ana Fernández) and her mother Rosa (María Galiana). María is one of four adult children, all of whom moved as far as they could get from their parents and the farm where they grew up. Before the movie starts, the father (later revealed to be a violent, cruel, abusive man) has fallen ill and been brought to a hospital in Seville, where María lives. Rosa has been staying at the hospital with him, but the doctor tells her to leave before she falls ill herself. María takes Rosa to stay with her in the rundown suburban apartment where she lives, and Rosa rides the bus every day to visit her husband.

María is intelligent and wanted an education, but her father wouldn't allow it. Now, at 35, she works for a cleaning service; she is lonely, poor, angry and bitter. She discovers she is pregnant by a man who doesn't want a baby and tells María to get an abortion. When she tells him she wants to have the baby and raise it with him, the man rejects her. In her anger and despair, María starts drinking heavily.

As her mother Rosa returns from shopping one day, she meets María's neighbor (vecino) Don Emilio (Carlos Álvarez-Nóvoa), a kind old widower living alone with his dog. A friendship blossoms between them: he lends Rosa some money when she runs short at the supermarket, and she cooks for him after he burns a stew he forgot was cooking. He falls in love with Rosa, but Rosa is faithful to her abusive husband. (At one point she says to María about her father, "He must not have an easy conscience. I do.")

Rosa's husband recovers and she returns with him to the country, not knowing about María's pregnancy. María tells Don Emilio about the baby and tells him she plans to abort it. In a long, emotional scene, he offers to be like a grandfather to the child if she decides to keep it, but María has been so badly treated by the men in her life that she has trouble believing him.

The movie ends with María visiting her parents' grave with her baby girl and Don Emilio. He is going to sell his apartment in Seville and the three of them will move into Rosa's house in the country to raise the baby.


External links[edit]