Screened as part of NZIFF 2018
Oddball octogenarian Julita Salmerón had three wishes as a young newlywed: the kids (six) came naturally enough, and even the monkey wasn’t too hard, but the castle was out of reach for a regular, middle-class Spanish family. Then an inheritance made Julita suddenly super rich and she got her third wish too, complete with turret, suits of armour and chandeliers.
With so much space at her disposal, she never threw anything out from that day on. Open any cupboard and a lifetime’s precious detritus may come tumbling out. But opened they shall be, for Spain’s financial crisis puts an end to the castle life and Julita and husband Antonio must drastically downsize. Their children and grandchildren assist with the move. What can possibly be thrown out? And where are the two vertebrae, macabre heirlooms, of Julita’s grandmother, brutally murdered during the Spanish Civil War?
Shot in a variety of formats over 14 years by one of Julita’s sons, this entertaining and affectionate portrait of an indomitable, impossible matriarch and her brood captures them coping with the vagaries of life, and celebrates the powerful, eccentric force of their family bonds. — SR