- Bollaín, Icíar
- (1967- )Iciar Bollaín debuted in film as the inquisitive young protagonist of Víctor Erice's El sur (South, 1983), and has occasionally continued to appear in films, most notably in Chus Gutierrez's Sublet (1991), Ken Loach's Land and Freedom (1995), and José Luis Borau's Niño nadie (Child No One, 1997) and Leo (2000).After two short features in the early 1990s (Baja corazón [ Come Down, Heart, 1992 ] and Los amigos del muerto [ Dead Man's Friends, 1993 ]), Bollaín directed Hola, ¿estás sola? (Hi! Are You on Your Own?), in 1995, a witty road movie about two women. Flores de otro mundo (Flowers from Another World, 1999), her second feature, was a complex story about masculinity and racism set in rural Spain. The setup was intriguing: given the scarcity of women, a group of men organize a festive gathering to bring "marriage candidates" to a small Castilian village, most of them immigrants. The film follows the story of the lucky ones who attempt a new life in socially complex conditions. The most heartfelt story is that of a Dominican girl married to an introversive farm laborer who lives with a disapproving mother. Eschewing a vindictive version of feminism and sensationalism, Bollaín's approach is compassionate and attempts to understand all sides. The film also showed her skill to get realistic, subdued performances from a group of actors and a confidence that no long dialogues or flashy camera positions are needed to communicate the emotional content of a scene.An equally restrained approach, more detailed and moving, was at the heart of Te doy mis ojos (I Give You My Eyes, 2003), Bollaín's film about a woman who is recurrently beaten up by her husband. Throughout the film, Pilar (Laia Marull) tries to escape from what audiences see as a dangerous relationship, but she can only go on returning and suffering. Only by concentrating on a career does she find the strength to start a new life. The film became a sociological phenomenon, going on to win seven Goya awards, including best director and best film. Again, Bollaín avoided easy manicheism, presenting the husband Antonio (Luis Tosar) as man trapped by a violent temper, who also tries to change. In 2007, she directed Mataharis (Mata Haris), which focused on a group of women implicated in an industrial espionage plot.
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.