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14th May 2024 - By John Hopewell (Variety)

Filmax Swoops on ‘May I Speak With the Enemy’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Filmax has nabbed sales rights to “May I Speak With the Enemy,” a biopic focusing on the Spanish Civil War years of Miguel Gila, who went on to pioneer stand-up in Spain. Gila developed a comedy of the absurd informed by his experiences in the conflict.

“May I Speak With the Enemy” is produced by Pecado Films, a producer on Victor Erice’s “Close Your Eyes,” and Arcadia Motion Pictures, behind Oscar-nominated “Robot Dreams” and Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s “The Beasts.”  

Co-written by Alexis Morante from an original idea by Pecado producer José Alba, “May I Speak” stars newcomer Oscar Lasarte, a comedian and magician, as a young Gila, just 17 when he heads for the trenches, to suffer through battles, hunger and a botched execution by a drunken firing squad.

The experiences inspired one of his most famous sketches, where he phones up the enemy to ask them to stop the war and, if it has to attack on Sunday, could it be after soccer matches?

Gila’s humor was non-denominational. He fought for the Republicans, which controlled Madrid where he lived. But his genius at finding a way into a subject from the point of view of a normal human being, who just wanted to survive, and if possible catch Sunday’s soccer match, resonated by Spaniards who fought on both sides of the Civil War and beyond.

“Based on true events and on his own monologues, the movie takes us on a journey through the life experiences that would later inspire his comedy, as we watch Miguel transform into Gila, the comedian who would go on to win the hearts of audiences in his native Spain, as well as across the pond in Latin America,” the film’s description runs.

“He was a pioneer, the author of social reconciliation in post-war Spain, and the person who had us laughing together once again. Even in the worst of times, Gila taught us a very valuable lesson: humour is our salvation,” said Alba.

“Gila was a fascinating figure. Through him we can learn so much about the Spanish and European cultures of the 20th century. He is a universal character and we are confident this leap onto the big screen will see him transcending borders and generations,” added producer Sandra Tapia at Arcadia Motion Pictures. 

“Just as ‘Life Is Beautiful’ did so brilliantly back in the day, this film works as a superb reflection on the miseries of life, the stupidity of war and how humor and kindness are the only way to overcome those obstacles,” said Ivan Díaz, Filmax head of international.

By Variety - See full article here


Filmax Swoops on ‘May I Speak With the Enemy’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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