Libertarias (1996)


Libertarias (English: Libertarians) is a Spanish historical drama made in 1996. It was written and directed by Vicente Aranda.

In 1936, Maria (Ariadna Gil), a young nun is recruited by Pilar (Ana Belén), a militant feminist, into an anarchist militia following the onset of the Spanish Civil War. Guided by the older woman, Maria is exposed to the realities of war and revolution, and comes to question her former, sheltered life.


The movie is set in 1936 in Barcelona in the midst of the Spanish Revolution and Spanish Civil War. Militia women Pilar (Ana Belen) and Floren (Victoria Abril) are joined by former prostitute Charo (Loles Leon) and former nun Maria (Ariadna Gil), who had hidden in a brothel to escape revolutionary violence against clergy. The film opens with scenes of working class militants demolishing and burning religious icons, as they shout “down with Capitalism!” and “long live the libertarian revolution!”

While fully immersed in the overall enthusiasm of revolutionary Spain, Pilar and friends find themselves fighting against deep gender inequality which complicates their efforts in the war against Francisco Franco’s Nationalist/Fascist/Catholic forces. They encounter resistance even within their own “Free Women” (Mujeres Libres) organisation as one woman (that resembles Federica Montseny) tries to persuade them to stay and work in defense factories, while men try to convince them to go work as cooks, not front-line soldiers.


  • María (Ariadna Gil) is a young, sheltered woman, Maria is swept into the confusion and euphoria of the initial days of the Spanish Civil War, when her convent is overrun by anarchist militiamen.
  • Pilar (Ana Belén) is a confident anarcha-feminist, Mujeres Libres member, and militia soldier, Pilar is a constant source of strength for the characters around her, and a protector of the naive María.
  • Victoria Abril as Floren.
  • Blanca Apilánez as Aura.
  • Laura Mañá as Concha.
  • Loles León as Charo.
  • Jorge Sanz as Obrero Hijo.
  • José Sancho as Obrero padre.
  • Joan Crosas as Boina.
  • Antonio Dechent as Faneca.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Vicente Aranda.
  • Producer(s): Andres Vicente Gomez.
  • Writer(s): Vicente Aranda and Antonio Rabinad.
  • Music: Jose Nieto.
  • Cinematography: Jose Luis Alcaine.
  • Editor(s): Teresa Font.
  • Production: Sdad, Sogetel, Lola Films, Academy Pictures, and Era Films.
  • Distributor(s): Sogepaq Distribution S.A.
  • Release Date: 19 April 1996 (Spain).
  • Running time: 131 minutes.
  • Country: Spain.
  • Language: Spanish.

YouTube Link

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