SPAIN’s most acclaimed film director Pedro Almodovar could soon add another statue to his already heaving awards cabinet.

His latest film Parallel Mothers, starring one of his favourite actors, Penelope Cruz, has been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in the 75 edition of the Bafta awards (British Academy of Film and Television Arts).

The film, which has had rave reviews, delves into one of Spain’s most enduring wounds by focusing on the tens of thousands of people who disappeared during the civil war and still are buried across Spain in unmarked graves.

The historical drama set in one of Spain’s darkest episodes explores the fate of two women giving birth in the same Madrid hospital hospital on the same day.

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PARALLEL MOTHERS. From left: Milena Smith, Penelope Cruz (Image: Cordon Press)

It highlights a political issue that still haunts Spain in modern times.

Some five decades after the death of General Francisco Franco and a ‘pact of forgetting’ which drew a line with the past in an attempt to allow Spain to move forward to democracy without recriminations for past crimes, unmarked graves litter the Spanish countryside.

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Penelope Cruz and Almodovar on set of Parallel Mothers (image: Cordon Press)

Hidden within them are the remains of an estimated 100,000 people who were executed by Fascist squads during the three-year-conflict or the ensuing dictatorship.

Over the last 15 years, volunteer teams have been exhuming graves across Spain and returning remains to relatives for proper burial.

But campaigners have long fought for state aid in locating and exhuming the graves and in telling the stories that the Franco regime sought to erase.

Now Almodovar has taken up the issue.

He has already won three Baftas for All About My Mother (1999), Talk to Her (2002) and The Skin I Live In (2011) as well as an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Talk to Her.

The 72-year-old has just announced that he will tackle his first feature film in English and that Cate Blanchett will star in the lead role.


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