Original title: Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados
Antonio is a huge Beatles fan in a fascist-controlled Spain that’s far from swingin’ in 1966. He teaches his school students English via the band’s lyrics – which aren’t easy to glean, as the records don’t come with lyric sheets. Then he hears John Lennon is filming down in Almeria, so Antonio decides to drive down and get the words straight from the scouser’s mouth.
On his road trip he picks up two runaways: one a single and pregnant girl (Natalia de Molina – uncannily reminiscent of Natalie Portman) and one a teen boy who’s tired of home life under his domineering father.
This funny and unashamedly feel-good film would probably seem saccharine in another context, but here it’s a bittersweet reminder of the value of escapism in a brutish and authoritarian world. 8/10
Released as part of the Spanish Film Festival, from April 29, 2014.