Día del Cine Español: Muerte de un ciclista
On the occasion of Spanish Film Day, Instituto Cervantes Chicago screens the classic film “Muerte de un ciclista” by Spanish film director Juan Antonio Bardem.
October 6th marks the second edition of Spanish Cinema Day (Día del Cine Español), an event that aims to vindicate the importance of the Spanish cinema as a cultural heritage, as a generator of a common identity and imaginary. Events and actions are organized during a day –both in the Spanish territory and internationally– that celebrate the richness and diversity of Spain’s cinematography and highlight the work of its professionals.
In the Spanish-Italian co-production Muerte de un ciclista (Death of a Cyclist), writer and director Juan Antonio Bardem chronicles the Spanish middle class through the portrait of a couple of lovers who assume very different positions in the face of the social climate that surrounds them.
Death of a cyclist
- Directed by Juan Antonio Bardem, Spain / Italy, 1955, black and white, 84 minutes.
- Original title: Muerte de un ciclista. In Spanish with English subtitles.
When this film received the International Critics Award at Cannes, director Juan Antonio Bardem was unable to accept the award, as he was serving one of several prison sentences meted out by Francisco Franco’s regime. His scathing social criticism contrasts an affluent, adulterous couple with the poor bicyclist they strike with their car. Realizing that the cyclist is badly injured, they leave him to die rather than risk revealing their affair. Upon their return to Madrid, guilt grabs them with more tragic consequences.