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Thursday, November 20, 2014 (read 1301 times)

New film: Tea and Sangría

by Tyson

Intercultural Movies

A pair of beverages with flavors perhaps as distinct as the country each is associated with make up the title of this charming cinematic romp through romance, rejection and culture shock. Meet David, a love-struck Londoner who drops everything and makes for Madrid to be with his Spanish sweetheart Marisa. He quickly finds himself dumped, dazed and confused in a land and a language different from his own.

Study abroad students choosing Spain as their destination may identify with the cross-cultural interaction highlighted in this funny bilingual film, particularly those who end up dating a Spaniard (which happens kind of a lot). The film’s British director Peter Domankiewicz describes the onscreen communication as a “strange mash up” of “English people talking bad Spanish and Spanish people speaking bad English”, going on to explain that all this reflects his own experience in Spain. Many of the unpredictable plot twists also depict real episodes from his own Spanish adventure.

Domankiewicz lived and worked in Spain for over five years before making this film which critics have described as a “love letter to Madrid”. He first wrote the script and looked for someone to produce it. Much like the script’s main character David, rejection inspired Peter to do what he could with what he had to try to make things work. He promptly went about pouring all his savings into a tiny film budget to make the movie himself, cutting cost corners wherever he could. With little acting experience aside from a few acting lessons, he even cast himself as the main character to avoid having to pay another actor.

The ambitious move was a big risk, and Domankiewicz admits that at times he felt in way over his head. The ultra-low budget filming conditions didn’t always impress crew members; after just a couple of weeks into filming on location in Madrid, every important member had abandoned the project. Looking for replacements wasn’t always easy. At times the team dwindled to five or six people. They often relied on the city’s subway system to move to new filming locations. Although most assumed the film would end up doomed to permanently remain on a dusty shelf, they finally finished the work.

The finished piece however caught the attention of Hussam Hindi, director of the prestigious Dinard Film Festival, which features British films unreleased in France. Tea and Sangria premiered on October 9th at this year’s 25th anniversary edition of the festival with the celebrated French actress Catherine Deneuve as the jury president. After seeing the positive response from the audience during the screening in Dinard, actress Nur Aiza (who plays in the film) called the movie “a fantastic victory for everybody involved”.  The festival will hopefully give the movie the exposure it needs to become an international sensation.  

This intercultural movie offering comes hot on the heels of Spain’s surprise runaway blockbuster 8 apellidos vascos, about a southern Spanish man’s often confused, always funny struggle through thick layers of cultural differences to win over the heart of a northern Spanish woman. 

Tea and Sangria is not the first film to highlight recent British arrivals in Spain learning to adapt to local culture.

South from Granada (2003) is a high-passion drama that takes place in the 1920’s about a young English writer who relocates to a mountain village near Granada. The movie is based on the autobiographical novel by Gerald Brenan South from Granada: Seven Years in an Andalusian Village.  

The multi-lingual French film L’Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish hostel) is about a group of students from different European countries all studying and living together in Barcelona.







Keywords: madrid movie,british in spain,madrid film,intercultural movies,bilingual movies,intercultural films,bilingual movie

Posted In: Spain, Culture, News


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