Spain, July 19, 1936. The War has just begun and women as always play their part in this human tragedy. Maria, an innocent young nun, is forced to leave the convent after the arrival of the revolutionary troops in Barcelon... more »a. She takes refuge in a brothel, where she meets a group of "Libertarias", who are being "drafted" for the "Free Women" organization under the leadership of Pilar (Ana Belen) a pure feminist warrior, passionate and fiery. Alongside, Charo (Loles Leon) the hooker with the heart of gold and Floren (Victoria Abril) a spiritualist, Maria joins in. Within the brutal realities of war, Maria experiences love with an unexpected character and companionship through those she is fighting with. Libertarias is an epic of six women fight for freedom, their struggle for justice amid their passionate cry for a better world. One of Spain?s best known directors, Vicente Aranda, Winner at the Tokyo International Film Festival, has made 17 previous films including the internationally acclaimed "Amantes".« less
Amazing Film About Spanish Anarchist Militia Women
J. Hannah | Somerville, MA | 12/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I heard about Vicente Aranda's magnificent film "Libertarias" ("Freedomfighters") shortly after I first heard of Ken Loach's "Land and Freedom". In this film, instead of the retelling of the George Orwell "Homage to Catalonia" story, we instead follow the lives of a group of anarchist CNT militia women at the opening phase of the Spanish Civil War, some liberated from a brothel, and some former nuns liberated from a church. The two movies have some similarities - both are based around the Spanish Revolution that occurred during the Spanish Civil War... but there as a far greater focus on the anarchist state of mind in this film. It also does not shy away from the issue of free love, of the Revolution's effects on the minds of liberated religious people, or even mysticism, as in one curious scene where an old anarchist ghost is channeled through a woman in a trance - the grumpy spirit criticizes the anarchist militia hero, Durruti, and tells the militants how to defeat a nearby enemy.
This film is a lot of fun. Originally I was a little put off by the less serious "feel" of the characters in the film than I initially expected (Prostitutes? Nuns? Sex?) ...but as the film took it's course I could see how different threads - the war, personal transformation, feminism, catholicism, anti-fascism, sexual feelings, and anarchist direct action - were all woven together quite cleverly.
As with Loach's "Land and Freedom", don't expect a happy ending in this film - we all know who won the Spanish Civil War! But this movie helps us see deeply into the world of the left libertarians who resisted Franco and Fascism and dared to imagine a more free, more libertarian world than the one we have today."
L. Dequesada | JAMAICA,, NY United States | 12/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film tells the mostly unknown story of anarchist militiawomen in the initial days of the Spanish Civil War, "the last idealist war". It is the story of a nun and a prostitute who join a group of loyalist militiawomen in their fight to resist the rebellion of the majority of the Spanish Army led by General Franco against the Republic and the people's revolution. Seeing "Libertarias" will be an unforgettable experience and the acting is superb. Famous spanish film actors and actresses like Ana Belen, Victoria Abril, Blanca Apilanez, Loles Leon and Miguel Bose all deliver excellent and convincing performances. This action packed film is guaranteed to become a favorite of those who see it. I highly recommend it."
Great film; should have been letterboxed!
Carlos A. Sogamoso | USA | 03/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I own the VHS WIDESCREEN VERSION and was anxiously awaiting the DVD release. To my dismay it's FULL SCREEN. What happened to the WIDESCREEN VERSION? A cinematic film like this (shot in 2:35 anamorphic) that ended up cropped loses a lot of detailed visual information. Bummer!
Guess I'll have to wait for an overseas letterboxed version to be available.
Good film bad Venevision rip-off
N. Lopez | 11/30/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with most of the comments and reviews here except for the quality of the dvd. It is a mediocre reproduction of the original European PAL version. As I pointed out in other reviews, Venevision is putting out there some so-so quality films from Spain. Get the original since they tend to edit the films for content and/or rating. I kid you not. I own the original version and saw the Venevision version. Examples of these and other mediocre quality reproductions of them can be found in El Palo, with Carmen Maura and La Celestina with Penelope Cruz. They are mediocre copies transfered to dvd,and they will look horrible on your big plasma tv, and I am not going to talk about the sound.
About the film. It has all been said and more than so by previous reviewers. The actors gathered in the film are highly respected and they are working for one of Spain's most respected and sometimes controversial director, Vicente Aranda (Carmen with Paz Vega and Leonardo Sbaraglia). You have probably seen these female actors in such films as Y tu mama tambien, Tacones lejanos (High Heels), Soldados de Salamina, etc. The original Pal version is rated between an R and a NC 17 (US similar rating) because of it's violent content. If you want a femenine or pro-womyn perspective of the Spanish Civil War, this is a "what if" film based on the role of womyn in the Spanish Civil War from an active military role, as their Mexican counterparts during the Mexican Revolution."
Carlos | Los Angeles | 05/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great movie for true lefties and Anarchists and history buffs. Pretty accurate, its rare in the states to see a history of the Spanish Revolution from the point of veiw of the Anarchist struggle. The film is also told from the point of view of members of Mujeres Libres (Free Women), a women's Anarchist collective whos membership numbered in the tens of thousands at it's hight. However the film isn't all politics and has a bit of humor in it as well that makes the film an enjoyable yet educational journey into an unknown history (at least here in north america). The film is well made and acted although the DVD itself is a bit on the low end. It is in 4:3 aspect ratio only and seems like a low quality transfer but the material is rare so that can be forgiven."