While at War at the 2021 Calgary European Film Festival
“While at War” by Alejando Amenábar represents Spain at the X edition of the “Calgary European Film Festival,” which runs from November 6 to November 14.
- Directed by Alejandro Amenábar, Spain / Argentina, 2019, 107 minutes.
- In Spanish with English subtitles. Watch trailer.
- Official Selection at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.
Salamanca, summer of 1936. Celebrated writer Miguel de Unamuno decides to publicly support the military rebellion in the belief that it will bring order to the prevailing chaos in Spain. He’s immediately dismissed as Dean of the University of Salamanca by the left-wing government.
Meanwhile, General Francisco Franco adds his troops to the uprising and initiates a successful campaign from the South, secretly plotting to take over sole command of the war. The conflict turns bloody and some of his friends and colleagues are taken away and incarcerated, forcing Unamuno to question his initial support and reconsider his principles. When Franco transfers his headquarters to Salamanca and is named Commander-in-Chief, Unamuno visits his palace, determined to request clemency.
While at War is Alejandro Amenábar’s new film, his first in Spanish since The Sea Inside (Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film). Based on true events, it portrays Spain’s recent history and introduces the figure of the exceptional Spanish writer, Miguel de Unamuno.
About The Calgary European Film Festival
The Calgary European Film Festival is organized by the European Cultural Society of Calgary (ECSC). 26 European countries participating in this year’s edition –its tenth anniversary– 4 more than in 2019 and 6 more than in 2020.
This year’s Festival is a hybrid event, with both in-person film screenings and an online component. With a few exceptions (such as While at War), most films play in-cinema and are available to stream online for the duration of the festival (Nov 6–14).