Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Cathedral of the Sea

 "Cathedral of the Sea" (2018) is set in medieval Barcelona.   Today some of us complain about inequality, but am largely unaware of  how far mankind has come.  And also we appreciate there are always some people who feel they are more  deserving.

The poorer class had it rough.  Work was hard and rewards slim. Bernat was a hard worker who resisted suggestions to get married, but when his father died he did get married.  The lord decided to exercise his rights over a new bride and ended up traumatizing her.  A child is born, but the lord demands Francesca breastfeed his own wife.  Bernat is upset he is separated from his son and takes drastic steps.  The result is he accidentally kills a guard and kidnaps his son.

On the run he contacts a sister who had married a successful businessman.  Bernat had given up his inheritance so that his sister could pay a dowry which in turn was used for her husband's investment.  Bernat does what he can for his child, but he is in hiding.

The next part of the story shifts to his son Arnau.  Arnau still faces  discrimination.  He proves to be a very capable leader, but still looked down upon by nobles.  There are many ups and downs.  A plague kills off much of the population and provides opportunities for the survivors.  Jews are blamed for the plague.  Arnau gets involved and picks up some key Jewish friends.  It is strange there is almost no mention of Muslims even though they were actually dominant in major parts of Spain 

Barcelona has proven to be one of the more alluring of locations.  Several films from different languages have felt Barcelona

This series commands your attention and here are some of the key people responsible.   

Jordie Frades was the director and an executive producer.  He has 26 credits as a director, 9 as a producer and 6 as an assistant director.

Ildefonso Falcones wrote the novel and worked on the script.  As a youngster he was a Spanish junior equestrian champion.  He quit shortly after as his father died.  He studied to be a lawyer and did set up a practice in Barcelona.  His first novel took 5 years, but future efforts were done quicker as he spent more time with his real passion of writing.  All his 5 novels were historical fiction.  He has two film credits for writing.

Federico Jusid composed the music.  Born in Argentina his musical career took him all over South and North America and Europe.  He wrote and performed as a pianist for the concert stage.  He has 133 composing and 47 music department credits.  His films include  "The Secret in Their Eyes" (2009), "7 Anos" (2016), "Neruda" (2016), "Twelve Year Night" (2018) and "Rest in Peace" (2024).   Check  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2016/11/7-anos.html    Unnoticed by me at the time that film also represents Federico's one producing credit and it is one film I have used a story from on several occasions.

Teo Delgado was the cinematographer.  He has 90 cinematography credits and 40 credits for camera and electrical department and 5 as an actor.

Carlos J. Sanavia was the editor.  He has 20 credits as an editor.

Daniel Grao played Bernat Estanyol father to Arnau.  He has 78 acting credits including "Julietta" (2016).

Nathalie Pozo played Francesca, Bernat's wife.  She studied at the British bilingual school in Madrid.  She has 54 acting credits.  

Aitor Luna played the lead character, Arnau.  He has 30 credits.  

Pablo Derqui played Joan, the adopted brother of Arnau.  He has 63 acting credits including "Neruda" (2016).

Andrea Duro played Aledis who had a brief adulterous affair with Arnau.  She has 33 acting credits. 

Joseph Maria Pou played Sahat, a Jewish convert who help Arnau.  He has an extensive theatre career.  He has 130 film acting credits including "The Sea Inside" (2004) and "Blanieves" (2012).  Check   http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2013/10/javier-bardem-gift-from-spain.html that covers a range of Javier Bardem films.

Michelle Jenner plays Mar who was adopted by Arnau.   In her early days she dubbed foreign films representing kids.  She has 59 acting credits including "Julietta" (2016) and "Money Heist:  Berlin" (2023).

There is a sequel  "Heirs to the Land" that I intend to watch and blog about.  This series was very engaging.  Available on Netflix dubbed and subtitled.

The first mention of a film I have seen is bolded.

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