Raza/Rojo Y Negro 2 DVD Set
Rojo Y Negro (Black & White) DVD's and SAVE!
"The Film Franco Tried to Destroy - His Own Spanish Civil War Epic!"
One of the most curious Spanish films ever made is Raza (Race, 1942), a fictionalized account of four siblings whose lives are transformed by the Spanish Civil War (1936-1940). What at first seems little more than a highly entertaining, morale-affirming propaganda picture celebrating the victory of Generalissimo Francisco Franco's fascist forces over the doomed Spanish Republic is in fact a clever attempt to shape collective memory through the medium of cinema. Spain, allegorically depicted as a family torn apart by war, eventually triumphs as the result of an enlightened patriot's heroic acts. This was Franco's vision of the civil war as he wished it to be remembered.
The film was financed by the government, which spent an astonishing 1,650,000 pesetas; its script was written by Franco himself under a pseudonym (Jaime de Andrade); and it was directed by Jose Luis Saenz de Heredia, whose cousin, Primo de Rivera, founded the Falange, the Spanish fascist party soon led by Franco. Raza is celebrated for its gorgeous lighting, lustrous cinematography, and fast-paced montage sequences. Especially memorable is the scene of the priests executed at water's edge by moonlight, as their footprints fade in the moist sand. Archival footage is frequently intercut with newly shot material, most notably during Franco's victory parade in Madrid.
The picture was premiered in Madrid on 5 January 1942, but in 1950 Franco suddenly withdrew it and destroyed almost all copies of the film, releasing in its place a revised version that reflected Cold War needs. The Caudillo (leader) had come to power with assistance from Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, toppled a democratically elected republic, and established a military dictatorship that lasted until his death in 1975. Raza was the official version of how the Franco dictatorship came to be. It is seen here in its original form.
Written by Jaime de Andrade (Francisco Franco). Directed by J. L. Saenz de Heredia. Starring Alfredo Mayo, Ana Mariscal, Jose Nieto, Blanca de Silos. Spain, 1942, B&W, 101 mins. Spanish dialogue, English subtitles.
Original Promotional Material Slideshows:
- Spanish Press Photos
- Cinema Ad, Flyer, Novel
Rojo Y Negro DVD
"First Release of this Lost Spanish Civil War Classic since 1942"
The National Spanish Film Institute holds over six-hundred features devoted to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1940). Some 460 are committed to the Republic that lost the war, while only 126 are faithful to the Falangist forces that won it. Of the latter, Carlos Arevalo’s Rojo y Negro (Red and Black, so named for the colors of the fascist flag) is perhaps the finest. It is certainly the rarest. This is the story of a Spanish journey, from the dawn of new hope (the Spanish Republic), through descent into the nightmare of fratricidal madness, to the victory of Generalissimo Franco and the establishment of the Franco dictatorship.
Most films merely tell a story. Highly entertaining though they may be, they are soon forgotten. An audience wants to be told a story and often doesn’t care how it’s told, but how it’s told is what turns movie entertainment into cinematic art. Red and Black is one of these. It stands the test of time. Its images linger in the mind. Extended montage sequences, indebted to Soviet cinema’s shock-editing techniques, masterfully condense the entirety of the civil war into short narrative bursts—press clippings, terrorist attacks, street riots, assassinations, torched crops, demolished churches, even fragments of Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin—all within a context of restless, dazzling cinematography and lyrical passages reminiscent of the Italian neo-realist films of the later 1940s.
Red and Black was premiered in Madrid on May 25, 1942. Because director Carlos Arevalo chose to portray both sides sympathetically, Francisco Franco withdrew the picture only three weeks later. Its only documented screenings thereafter were in Berlin in July and in Madrid in November. It remained banned until the end of the Franco regime in 1975. Believed lost for many years, it survives—with all its bold, visual flourishes—as a reminder of why so many rose against the Spanish Republic.
Directed by Clos Arevalo. Starring Conchita Montenegro, Ismael Merlo, Rafaela Satorres. Spain, 1942, B&W, 76 mins. Spanish dialogue, English subtitles.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
- 1942 Venice Film Festival Booklet
- Spanish Civil War Red Terrorism Photos
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)