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Quarantine Book and Film Club: Cine y Literatura en Español

Spring is officially here! The weather is getting warmer, trees are blooming, a chorus of birdsong fills the air – and if, like me, you’re one of the millions of people who have seasonal allergies, constant sneezing and itchy eyes are back in full force. This year, however, spring comes with a very unexpected guest that is making us welcome the sunny weather with certain wariness: national lockdown.

It is relatively easy to stay indoors when the weather is cool and rainy. But how do we resist the temptation to venture outside on a warm, sunny day? How do we fight the desire to meet our friends and family for a BBQ party? For us, it’s simple: grab a book, sit in your garden (if you’re lucky enough to have one) or by a window and enjoy those rays of sunshine from your home!

Here are two new Quarantine Book and Film Club recommendations so you can stay entertained and keep learning Spanish. And if you enjoyed our recommendations last time, do not hesitate to join the discussion in the comments.

Book: Un viejo que leía novelas de amor (The Old Man Who Read Love Stories)

This week’s book recommendation is another beautiful short novel by Luis Sepúlveda. Un viejo que leía novelas de amor tells a moving, provocative story set in the Ecuadorean jungle. With a strong environmental message, the book will transport you to the Amazon and will teach you to love nature as you follow the touching adventures of Antonio José Bolívar Proaño. Written in 1988, Un viejo que leía novelas de amor has been translated to 6o languages and sold 18 million copies worldwide. It is one of those short, powerful novels that you never forget.

Synopsis:

Antonio José Bolívar Proaño vive en El Idilio, un pueblo remoto en la región amazónica de los indios shuar (mal llamados jíbaros), y con ellos aprendió a conocer la Selva y sus leyes, a respetar a los animales y los indígenas que la pueblan. Un buen día decidió leer con pasión las novelas de amor que dos veces al año le lleva el dentista Rubicundo Loachamín para distraer las solitarias noches ecuatoriales de su incipiente vejez. En ellas intenta alejarse un poco de la estupidez de esos codiciosos forasteros que creen dominar la Selva porque van armados hasta los dientes pero que no saben cómo enfrentarse a una fiera enloquecida porque le han matado las crías.

Level: Intermediate

You can find a free online version of the book here.

Film: El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes)

El secreto de sus ojos (2009) is an Argentinian crime drama film directed by Juan José Campanella, based on the novel La pregunta de sus ojos (The Question in Their Eyes) by Eduardo Sacheri. Using a nonlinear narrative, the film depicts a judiciary employee and his boss, a law clerk, played by Ricardo Darín and Soledad Villamil, as they investigate a rape and murder case. The film received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards and the Goya Award for Best Spanish Language Foreign Film.

Synopsis:

Un juez tiene dudas acerca de los planes de un oficial de justicia recientemente retirado que intenta descubrir al culpable de la violación y el asesinato de una joven, crimen ocurrido varias décadas atrás.

Trailer:

Enjoy and do not forget to leave a comment to let us know what you think!

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