Watch To Die in Madrid
- 1 hr 25 min
To Die in Madrid is a powerful and thought-provoking documentary about the Spanish Civil War, made in 1963. The film examines the fundamental issues surrounding this conflict and the impact it had on the lives of ordinary people. It is a skillful and intelligent portrayal that makes use of striking visual images, interviews, and rare footage of the war. The movie explores the enduring legacy of the Spanish Civil War and the fears, hopes, and ideologies that motivated people to fight on either side. Through interviews with prominent revolutionaries, we are given a deep insight into the complexity of the war, which touched on issues such as religion, patriotism, and class struggle. The film starts by examining the reasons behind the war, with interviews with key figures that highlight the various ideological and political differences that divided the country. It provides historical context by taking the viewer back to 1931, the year that Spain became a republic, and then charts the rise of Franco and his Nationalist forces. Through interviews with ordinary citizens, who lived through the horror of bombings and street fighting, the film captures the social and economic upheaval that underpinned the conflict. We see how the war played out in the lives of those individuals who were fighting for their beliefs, for their freedom, and for their very existence. The film makes a deliberate effort to portray both sides, through interviews with former soldiers and their family members. It becomes clear that both sides saw themselves as the rightful defenders of Spanish values and that both felt driven to fight for what they believed was right. The use of rare film footage of the early days of the war, as well as still photographs, provide us with an understanding of how difficult the fighting was and how brutal the conditions were for people caught up in the conflict. The interviews with key revolutionaries are particularly insightful, with John Gielgud giving a highly personal and moving account of his experiences fighting for the republic. Irene Worth and Suzanne Flon also give their insights, with both actresses giving searing performances. To Die in Madrid is a stunning portrayal of a defining moment in Spanish history. It is a courageous film that does not seek to shy away from difficult issues, and is all the more powerful because of it. Overall, To Die in Madrid is an intellectual, stirring and thought-provoking documentary that is essential viewing for anyone with an interest in Spanish history, or who seeks to understand the complexities of civil war. The use of rare historical footage, combined with personal accounts from individuals on both sides of the conflict, make this an engaging and insightful documentary that quickly draws the viewer in. By the end of the film, one is left with a lingering sense of sadness and a deeper appreciation of the complexities of war, politics, and ideology.