The Endless Trench (2019)


Introduction

The Endless Trench (Spanish: La trinchera infinita) is a 2019 Spanish-French historical drama film directed by Jon Garaño, Aitor Arregi and Jose Mari Goenaga.

At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, young newlyweds Higinio and Rosa are worried about the risk of reprisal killings, as Higinio is a Republican. He hides in a hole underneath their house with his wife’s help. Despite the constant threat of discovery, as the Falangists search for him, the couple’s love helps them to remain resilient. Higinio becomes increasingly isolated in his hiding spot, where he stays until the 1969 amnesty. The story is told in chapter-like sections, each with titles alluding to the themes.

Outline

In 1936, at the start of the Spanish Civil War, a newly-married man who has criticized the Nationalist army and government fears that he will be the victim of reprisal killings and goes into hiding. As Falangists search for him, he hides under the floor of his house with the help of his wife. The first section, titled “campeada” (“to run”) depicts his first period where he is on the run from his pursuers.

The next section is titled “esconder” (“to hide”) shows his betrayal by his neighbour, and then his move to a trench dug under the kitchen. The next section is titled “detención” (“temporary loss of freedom”). During this section, the couple start to imagine that the Republicans will win the civil war, but this is only a fantasy.

The next section is titled Peligro (danger). As the political situation worsens, Higinio’s wife is arrested, but she does not betray her husband’s hiding place. The next section is titled Encerrar (shut down). It is about his isolation in his hiding spot. His wife gets pregnant with a child who might be theirs, or perhaps the child of a policeman who raped Rosa and then was killed by Higinio and Rosa. At times Rosa is gone from the house for a time when she goes elsewhere to give birth to the child. When two gay men start staying in the house, Higinio befriends them.

The next section is called Apartado (remote). Higinio starts to feel very isolated and detached from outside world, which he can only see in glimpses through the curtains or from muffled sounds. He tries to follow the news on the radio and TV to learn more. In the Cambiar (change) and Franco (frank) sections, Higino goes through a major change. With the birth of their son Jaime (who Rosa identifies to the neighbours as her nephew), Higinio starts to reconsider whether he should remain in hiding. His wife tells him the family has been needing his help.

In the next section, his wife and son start to question why he remains in hiding, arguing that no one is still looking for him. In the neighbourhood, it is becoming well known that he is living under the house. However, he has become habituated to his isolation, and it is hard for him to leave his hole.

The next chapter is titled Desenterrar. Higinio realises that it is probably safe to come out of hiding. When, in 1969, the Franco government announces an amnesty, and pardons him for his political offenses, he still cannot leave the trench. After 33 years, his isolation has become his normal life.

The final chapter, Salir (go out), begins when his wife, Rosa, threatens to leave him, realising that Higinio is too trapped in fear. Finally, he manages to leave the hole, as many other “topos” (“moles”) show themselves again.

Cast

  • Antonio de la Torre as Higinio Blanco, a Republican.
  • Belén Cuesta as Rosa, a seamstress, and Higinio’s wife.
  • Vicente Vergara as Gonzalo Palacio.
  • José Manuel Poga as Rodrigo.
  • José María del Castillo.
  • Carlos Bernardino as Falangista.
  • Emilio Palacios as Jaime.
  • Enrique Asenjo.
  • Daniel Morilla.
  • Antonio Romero as Fede.
  • Óscar Corrales as Damián.
  • Manuel Domínguez as Republicano 1.
  • Esperanza Guardado.
  • Javi Mena.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Aitor Arregi.
    • Jon Garaño.
    • Jose Mari Goenaga.
  • Producer(s):
    • Xabier Berzosa … producer.
    • Olmo Figueredo González-Quevedo … producer.
    • Jose Mari Goenaga … executive producer.
    • Iñaki Gomez … producer.
    • Philippe Gompel … producer: Manny Films.
    • Birgit Kemner … executive producer.
    • Fernando Larrondo … executive producer.
    • Manuel H. Martín … associate producer: La Claqueta.
    • Miguel Menéndez de Zubillaga … executive producer.
    • Iñigo Obeso … producer.
    • Carlos Rosado Sibon … executive producer (as Carlos Rosado Sibón).
    • Manuel J. Villegas Estepa … assistant producer (uncredited).
  • Writer(s):
    • Luiso Berdejo.
    • Jose Mari Goenaga.
  • Music:
    • Pascal Gaigne.
  • Cinematography:
    • Javier Agirre … (as Javi Agirre Erauso).
  • Editor(s):
    • Laurent Dufreche.
    • Raúl López.
  • Production:
    • Irusoin.
    • Moriarti Produkzioak.
    • Claqueta, La.
    • Trinchera Film (as La Trinchera Film).
    • Manny Films.
    • Radio Televisión Española (RTVE) (as Radiotelevisión Española).
    • Euskal Irrati Telebista (EiTB).
    • Canal Sur Televisión (as Canal Sur Radiotelevisión).
    • Film Factory Entertainment.
    • Netflix.
    • Audio Visual Finanzas.
    • Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales (ICAA) (support).
    • Departamento de Cultura del Gobierno Vasco (support) (as Gobierno Vasco).
    • Junta de Andalucía (support).
    • ETP (support).
    • Entertainment One.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Epicentre Films (2020) (France) (theatrical).
    • eOne Entertainment España (2019) (Spain) (theatrical).
    • Epicentre Films (2021) (France) (DVD).
    • Netflix (2020) (Argentina) (video) (VOD).
    • Netflix (2020) (Singapore) (video) (VOD).
    • Netflix (2020) (USA) (video) (VOD).
    • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2020) (Spain) (Blu-ray).
    • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2020) (Spain) (DVD).
  • Release Date: 22 September 2019 (Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival, Spain).
  • Running Time: 147 minutes.
  • Rating: 18.
  • Country: Spain.
  • Language: Spanish.

Video Link(s)

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