The family plays itself in an uncertain future, around the corner from the here and now

Isabelle Lamberty said in 2015 that she depicts forgotten people, when she presented her graduation film “ Volando Voy ” at the Film Academy. A movie about two Roma brothers somewhere in a no-man’s land outside Madrid. A place where, according to Lambert, they are king, but outside of society. The boys played their role in a movie that mocked the subtle distinction between documentary and fiction on the drawing board.

In her first full movie “La ltima primavera” (The Last Days of Spring), the director returns to the Gabarre Mendoza family in the favelas outside Madrid. Their house has stone walls, but there is no central heating and a roof that blows off during the first storm.

Four generations live here among scrap metal. They earn money and chores together. Not all are legal, but how do they survive? Family members play their role as if they were living in a near and uncertain future, close to the here and now.


Frankly, these people themselves are community waste. Because it quickly turns out that everyone in this cramped residential area will be evicted and their homes demolished by bulldozers. Project developer word is not used, but it is not necessary. The future of these families was long defined in expensive offices somewhere in the city center. Someone explains that not only do they have to move, but the family will also disintegrate because apartments for large families are no longer being built in Madrid.

But Lamberty leaves big words and miserable prospects out of the picture. Focuses on everyday moments: children’s play, moms boil, teen cheats. Every once in a while a father cries and does not accept that he cannot provide for the family better.

It has been played and not played. The auxiliary reality, which Lamberty aims at, allows her to condense the story and reveal a world that may not have happened yet but is very likely.

For example, it can show that boys are hiding stolen car parts, which means a police raid at a later time. You would never be able to film such banned acts if the movie were 100 percent documentary.

Eternal misery

Perhaps a problem with this profession is that you will undoubtedly associate all kinds of images and exaggerate. However, the scene appears as if the entire family sits at a long table beside a burger king like Da Vinci’s Last Supper.

This is the richness that director Lamberti brings to this invisible world: that the misery of the Gabarre Mendoza family takes something immortal. You hope they themselves got a little better, too.

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Sophie Baker

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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