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While at War
Australian Premiere

The first Spanish-language production in nearly 17 years from Oscar-winning writer/director Alejandro Amenábar (The Sea Inside, The Others, Agora), While at War is a powerful and hugely resonant historical drama set in the first months of the Spanish Civil War, depicting how the country inexorably slid into nearly four decades of fascism under dictator Francisco Franco.

It’s July, 1936. Nationalist forces take to the streets of Salamanca, challenging the authority of the democratically elected Second Spanish Republic. But the esteemed professor Miguel de Unamuno (Karra Elejalde, Operation Goldenshell SFF18, Spanish Affair SFF15) pays the uprising little mind: for all his wisdom and experience, he doesn’t believe his country is under imminent threat. It’s not until his colleagues are rounded up that Miguel begins to reconsider his principles, hoping he can exert his influence to bring reason before it’s too late…

Deeply intelligent and spectacularly mounted, While at War depicts a nation split between those compelled by egalitarianism, and others driven by reactionary visions of how to make Spain ‘great again’.

A complex, steady, deeply intelligent film with a chilling resonance today.
Screen International
Alejandro Amenábar
Karra Elejalde, Nathalie Poza, Eduard Fernández, Santi Prego
2019 | 107 min | Spain | Drama, History, War
Spanish with English subs

Festivals & Awards

6 including Best Supporting Actor, Goya Awards 2020
17 times including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director, Goya Awards 2020
Audience Award for Best Spanish Film, Fotogramas de Plata 2020
Best Male Lead, Gaudí Awards 2020