As Long as the War Lasts (Mientras dure la guerra)
Alejandro Amenabar makes his first Spanish language film since 2004’s The Sea Inside with seventh feature As Long as the War Lasts (Mientras dure la guerra), financed through Movistar+ (one of Europe’s largest telecoms, a pay-TV division segueing into cinema with this move) and produced by Fernando Boivara, who has worked with Amenabar ever since his 1997 sophomore film Open Your Eyes. Amenabar’s cast is headlined by Karra Elejalde playing Miguel de Unamuno, with a supporting cast consisting of Eduard Fernandez, Nathalie Poza, and Santi Prego. Berlin’s Panorama provided Amenabar with his initial platform, presenting his 1995 debut Thesis and programming Open Your Eyes in the 1998 edition of the festival. Amenabar became an international sensation with his 2001 English language debut The Others, competing in Venice and earning Nicole Kidman a Golden Globe nod, returning to the Lido in 2004 with The Sea Inside, which won the Grand Special Jury Prize and went on to snag a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. 2009’s expensive Agora played out of competition at Cannes and 2015’s thriller Regression was virtually ignored by its own US distributor TWC-Radius upon theatrical release in early 2016.
Gist: Co-written by Alejandro Fernandez (who wrote Manuel Martin Cuenca’s Cannibal and The Motive), As Long as the War Lasts documents the last six months in the life of University of Salamanca rector Miguel de Unamuno, removed from his position in 1936 after supporting the military uprising. But as Franco’s troops begin to take over, Unamuno begins to reexamine his principles.
Release Date/Prediction: Filming began in May 2018 for an eight week shoot across Toledo and Madrid. The film’s timing could be right for Amenabar to make his first return to Berlin in over twenty years, potentially for the first time in competition.