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Flesh Memories (2012)

La mémoire dans la chair (original title)
15 years after exile from his own country, Tomas returns home to Spain to bury his father, a Republican who was imprisoned under Franco's regime. Coming home, Tomas finds an unsettled world, venturing on a journey of revenge.


Dominique Maillet


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Cast overview:
Sergio Peris-Mencheta ... Tomás
Féodor Atkine ... Manrique
Diana Palazón Diana Palazón ... Natalia
Julia Molkhou Julia Molkhou ... Nieves
Serge Riaboukine Serge Riaboukine ... Martineau
Carlos Álvarez-Nóvoa ... Paco
María Alfonsa Rosso ... Doña Presentación
Luisa Gavasa ... Isabel
Jordi Dauder ... Le notaire
Zoe Berriatúa Zoe Berriatúa ... Le garde civil
Dolores Chaplin ... Aurore
Michel Galabru ... Don Pablo


15 years after exile from his own country, Tomas returns home to Spain to bury his father, a Republican who was imprisoned under Franco's regime. Coming home, Tomas finds an unsettled world, venturing on a journey of revenge.

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France | Spain



Release Date:

15 February 2012 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Flesh Memories See more »

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User Reviews

The end of a dictatorship
14 November 2017 | by hof-4See all my reviews

On July 1936 General Francisco Franco mobilized part of the Spanish Army in a military uprising against Spain's constitutional government. After two years of bloody civil war, Franco was the victor and Spain entered a dark period of dictatorship lasting 37 years. The ideological basis for the regime was Falangism, a doctrine that had much in common with Fascism but was even more violent and reactionary. The death penalty was applied indiscriminately and the use of torture was routine.

During WWII Franco supported the Axis powers to the extreme of sending an Army division to fight alongside Germany in the Soviet Union. At the end of the war Spain became an international pariah, condemned by the newborn United Nations as an ally of the Nazis. Spain's postwar isolation was lifted in the late forties and early fifties by opening the country to American bases and joining the anti-communist crusade.

The time frame for this movie is the end of the Franco regime. After several bouts with illness the dictator fell into a coma on October 30, 1975. His life was artificially prolonged until November 20, so he could die on the same day as José Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the Falange, shot during the Civil War on November 20, 1936.

The movie begins a few days before Franco's death. Tomás, a Spaniard living in France receives a phone call announcing the death of his father in Spain, and travels to attend the funeral. Shortly after, Franco's demise is announced by the government. Director Dominique Maillet recreates perfectly the time and place. Many Spaniards rejoice at the news, but Franco's goons and torturers are not overly worried; although their powers would be curtailed from then on, no retribution is likely. In fact, the transition to democracy included a 1977 amnesty law that made impossible to prosecute the dictatorship's crimes and civil right abuses.

The rest of the tale is a puzzle (as stated by one of the characters). As in David Lynch movies, some pieces fit easily, others find a place at the end, yet others seem to have the right shape but the fit is never perfect. An elusive hint is given at the beginning in a quote from Jorge Semprún, who fled Spain with his family at the end of Civil War and became a writer in France; he was a scriptwriter for Alain Resnais, Costa-Gavras and other directors.

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