Soldados de Salamina

Spain

Synopsis

A novelist who has given up her writing career investigates a real story that took place at the very end of the Civil War: the writer and Falangist Rafael Sänchez Mazas was shot together with another fifty prisoners, but he managed to escape through the woods and hide in the rain. Apparently, one of the soldiers combing the area looking for him found him, but let him get away. The novelist gradually pieces together this story, riddled with contradictions and enigmatic characters. Unwittingly, as her search progresses, it is not only finding out the truth that she is alter, but finding herself as well.

Director's Statement

When I read Javier Cercas' novel "Soldiers of Salamina", I did not think of making a film out of it. Cercas and I had met each other a couple of years before and he sent me his book when it had just come off the press. I started to read it one morning and then cancelled all my appointments for that day one by one as I progressed through the pages. I read it in one sitting, not leaving the house, not seeing anyone, without any interruptions. I finished it with tears in my eyes, like so many of its readers. But I never considered making a film out of it.

Days later I found that I could not keep my mind off the meeting of those two men in the forest, the intense look that they exchange, and the young soldier's decision. Days went by and I could still see their expressions and feel the effects of the mood that fills the book.

I do not believe that novels can be made into films. What you turn into a film is the novel's story, its emotions, its events. But not the novel. The novel will always be something else, untouchable by any adaptation. The novel always remains the same, and the film neither ruins nor improves it. lt was there before and it will be there afterwards. Perhaps that is why adaptations only work if they provide a different perspective, if they manage to be as independent as the original work. The film presents a personal reading of the novel, but above all it is a film, nothing more.

Director's Biography

Born in 1969, David Trueba studied journalism in Madrid before moving to Los Angeles to attend the American Film Institute. Trueba is a master of many creative disciplines, having written two novels and ten screenplays, including the Academy Award winning BELLE EPOQUE, PERDITA DURANGO and LA NINA DE TUS OJOS. As a director, his first film, "La Buena Vida", was selected for the Director's Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and went an to win the special jury prize at Karlovy Vary. SOLDIERS OF SALAMINA is David Trueba's third film as a Director.
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: David Trueba

Written by: David Trueba

Produced by: Andres Vicente Gomez, Cristina Huete

Cinematography: Javier Aguirresarobe

Production Design: Salvador Parra

Costume Design: Lala Huete

Make-Up & Hair: Gregorio Ros, Pepito Juez

Main Cast: Ariadna Gil (Lola), Ramon Fontsere (Rafael Sánchez Mazas), Joan Dalmau (Miralles), María Botto (Conchi)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2003