What do Lola Flores, Diego Armando Maradona or Jose María Ruiz-Mateos have in common? These are just three examples of the last three biopic or biographical films released in Spain, a genre that is gradually gaining followers. They have appeared at La Ventana Israel del Santo, responsible for ‘Lola’, the biopic of Lola Flores of Movistar Plus and Roger Gual, director of ‘Ruiz-Mateos, the first viral phenomenon’ (of RTVE play) and of ‘Maradona, a blessed dream ‘available on Amazon Prime.
Lives with light and dark
The emergence of this genre can have several causes. Del Santo, humorously, has taken a look up: “The managers of the chains are getting older and suddenly they think that Lola is super modern.” On the other hand, Gual has focused on the viewer: “The real lives of people attract a lot of attention. When you discover a character you were a fan of, the fact that a documentary is made leads you to get to know him better and get closer to him ”.
Although for both there is not “necessarily admiration” to create and direct a biopic, there is a connection with the protagonist. About Maradona, Gual explained: “More than the football world, it was because Maradona was more than a footballer. He was a pop icon of the time ”. Del Santo wanted to explain how the figure of Lola Flores himself lived: “I had the image of my generation. That trip that I made I was able to take it to the viewer ”.
The importance of the environment
These audiovisual products have a research work behind them, and one of their most important parts is the contact with the people closest to the protagonists. In the case of Lola Flores, Del Santo has been very grateful: “Her family has allowed us to work with total freedom. He has made it very easy for me, although it was impossible to tell something that Lola had not already said on some television. ” On the other hand, Gual explained that it had been more difficult with the close circle of Ruiz-Mateos: “I have to say that when we contacted relatives in case they wanted to participate, the male children are all in jail, the mother was ill, and one of his daughters, who was going to participate, finally did not want to speak on a personal matter ”. However, it has clarified that this fact has been able to help give “a more objective vision.”
Dealing with the life of a public figure can lead to a certain “goodness”, an excessively positive view of the person. Gual explained that seeing the most human part can provoke some reflection, as in the case of Ruiz-Mateos: “Somehow, all the time you debate about sierra a hero or a villain. That is the interesting thing ”. It may be easy to choose a person to biopic on, but there may also be a question about who not to do it. Del Santo has been clear about it: “I would not like to do it about someone who, no matter how relevant, did not deserve it and had to praise him.”