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An Almodóvar Classic with Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem: Live Flesh (Carne trémula)

Title: Carne trémula (Live Flesh)
Released: 1997
Director:: Pedro Almodóvar

Plot Summary

Carne trémula is a film about love, revenge, forgiveness, and the human capacity to change and reinvent. Certainly more racy than other films like La flor de mi secreto and Volver, the film starts in Civil War Spain with prostitute Isabel (Penelope Cruz) giving birth to her only son Victor in a bus on the way to the hospital.

The story fast forwards to Victor in his twenties, infatuated with Elena who falls in love with David (Bardem) on a disastrous night that causes Victor to be sent to jail and David to become paraplegic.

Language Learning Notes

The end of the film contrasts Victor's birth during the Spanish Civil War, to modern Spain that has changed and healed though still marked by its past:

Hace 26 años, yo estaba en la misma situación que tú, a punto de nacer. Pero tú tienes más suerte que yo. No sabes cómo ha cambiado todo esto. Mira cómo está la acera. Llena de gente. Cuando yo nací, no había un alma por la calle. La gente estaba encerrada en su casa, cagada de miedo. Por suerte para ti, hijo mío, hace ya mucho tiempo que en España hemos perdido el miedo.

The film includes lots of Spain-specific slang, and isn't as easy to understand as other Almodóvar movies.