Archive of films Ham, Ham / Jamón, jamón

1991, 93 min

Section: Tribute to Bigas Luna
Year: 2001


They say that ham is Spain’s biggest export. It serves as a kind of gourmet advertisement in the same way that bacon does for England. “If we want to say that something is really worth it, then we say ‘jamón, jamón,’” says director Bigas Luna, suggesting that in his film it’s possible to eat love and beauty. . . . “It’s a story about passion and highways,” “It’s a love story between a potato omelette and a slice of ham,” “It’s a film where a man eats a ham and a woman eats a man,” the film’s various creators claim. The attractive Sylvia and José Luis are expecting a baby, but as his only interests are cars and music he’s no great catch. His vivacious and wealthy mother, however, thinks otherwise. She has no intention of becoming mother-in-law to a country girl. And so she asks Raúl, one of the muscular part-time models at her husbands underwear factory, to seduce Sylvia. His boundless virility is plastered all over the country on huge billboards spreading the fame of Samson brand briefs. But in actuality Raúl wants to be a toreador. So far, however, his job at a ham factory means he spends more time with pigs than bulls. And piggy even gets the last word – when Raúl and José Luis are having the final showdown over Sylvia. . . . The masterfully staged climactic scene, a universal artistic commentary on the historical development of Spain, is the height of ironic exaggeration, offering a surrealistic parody of a period in a country where ham and computers exist in perfect harmony.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Tribute to Bigas Luna
Director: Bigas Luna
Screenplay: Bigas Luna, Cuca Canals
Dir. of Photography: Jose Luis Alcaine
Music: Nicola Piovani
Editor: Teresa Font
Producer: Andres Vicente Gómez
Production: Lolafilms S.A.
Cast: Stefania Sandrelli, Anna Galiena, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Juan Diego, Jordi Molla

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