Archive of films Volavérunt / Volavérunt

France / Spain
1999, 90 min

Section: Tribute to Bigas Luna
Year: 2001


Volavérunt is a murder-mystery, a sweeping historical epic about the untimely death of the Duchess of Alba. Dona María del Pilar Teresa Cayetana de Silva y Álvarez de Toledo was the richest, most beautiful and freethinking woman of her time. This flamboyant lady, who has as many enemies as she does lovers, has organised a gala dinner party to celebrate the completion of her new palace. The most varied society have been invited, aristocrats intertwined through ties of passion, jealousy and ambition. The following day the duchess is found dead in her bed. Artist Francisco de Goya, who has recently painted her portrait (his “Naked Maja”), is implicated – was it one of his toxic pigments that caused her death? The Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy shares a torrid past with the Duchess, and the narrative takes on the form of an extended conversation between the two men, exploring the various motives and possibilities of the many people who might have wished the Duchess dead. The resulting labyrinth of speculation and suspicion is matched by the sumptuous candlelit interiors of the palace and the universally excellent performance of the cast. Bigas Luna has worked with this group of actors before and it showed to good effect: Aitana Sánchez-Gijón won Best Actress at the 1999 San Sebastian Film Festival for her role as the Duchess.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Tribute to Bigas Luna
Director: Bigas Luna
Screenplay: Cuca Canals, Bigas Luna
Dir. of Photography: Paco Femenia
Music: Alberto García Demestres
Editor: Kenout Peltier
Producer: Mate Cantero, Stéphane Sorlat
Production: Mate Production S.A., MDA Films
Cast: Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Penélope Cruz, Jordi Molla, Jorge Perugorría, Stefania Sandrelli, Carlos la Rosa, Zoe Berriatúa, Jean Marie Juan, Olivier Archard, Empar Ferrer

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