A film shot in Majorca, the only Spanish entry at the Berlin film festival, was screened in the competition section yesterday. El Mar (The Sea) is by Majorcan director Agustí Villaronga, and is based on the novel of the same name by the late Majorcan poet Blai Bonet. It is a tough, uncompromising film, set in a TB sanatorium in the years following the Spanish Civil War. Villaronga, who described it as an atmospheric film, said that it was violent and harsh because that was the way it had to be. It relates the story of two friends who, as children, witnessed the shooting by firing squad of the men of their village and were “passive accomplices” to the murder of the boy of their own age. The film shows a Majorca far different to the one of sun and beach which the Germans today know, but “it is the one I lived in during my infancy and the one which Blai Bonet reflected in his novel.”

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