A Love To Keep
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A Love To Keep

Spain, 2006, 98 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Discrimination, Drama, Lesbian, Mental Health, Spanish
Program: World Cinema
Language: Spanish

DIRECTOR: Juan Carlos Claver

Shy, awkward Elvira (Susi Sanchez) and bubbly, forthright Pilar (Carmen Elias) are schoolteachers in Franco’s fascist Spain in the early 1970s. They fall in love only to be torn apart when Pilar’s parents have her institutionalized, hoping that regular shock treatments will jolt her into heterosexuality.
Despite years of separation, the two women find their way back to one another in a newly free Spain. But the happily-ever-after that the couple eagerly anticipates proves elusive when Pilar’s mind and body begin to suffer horrific aftereffects from the electroshock therapy.
Based on a true story and nominated for an ATV Award (Spain’s equivalent of the Emmys) for Best TV Movie, Juan Carlos Claver’s heartfelt drama works on multiple levels: It is a kind of social and legal history of gay life in Spain as, during the course of the drama, Spanish society transforms from the repressive Franco years to today’s more open way of life. It is part tragedy, with Pilar subjected not just to shock therapy but to other forms of abuse during her years in the hospital. It is a family story, as Pilar pays the price for her parents’ homophobia, and her mother eventually pays a price for what she has done. But above all, it is a moving, romantic melodrama. Sanchez and Elias are luminous and heartbreaking as women determined to let nothing — not the law, society, family nor illness — destroy their love. — PAM GRADY

co-presented by

International Latino Film Society


ACLU of Northern California

Official Film Website

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