Santiago Zannou shoots Alacrán enamorado with Javier Bardem
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
07/05/2012 - After a short break from fiction with the documentary La puerta de no retorno, the Spanish director of African origin Santiago Zannou today, May 7, started shooting on the set of his second feature film, Alacrán enamorado (lit. “Scorpion in love”), with none other than Javier Bardem in the cast. The Spanish actor thus returns to acting under a Spanish director for the first time in eight years since he worked with Alejandro Amenábar on The Sea Inside [trailer].
The project had already attracted the film sector’s attention before Javier Bardem joined it, with more than enough going for it, including Zannou’s fresh new talent (winner of the Goya for Best New Director in 2009 for The One-handed Trick), Morena Films’ solid track record (Elefante blanco [trailer], 7 Days in Havana [trailer], The Monk [trailer]), and Carlos Bardem’s original screenplay.
The story, in line with Zannou’s first work, finds its roots in today’s urban multicultural Spain, marked by immigration, new urban tribes, and identity conflicts. The director describes Alacrán enamorado as “a fable that shows that love and trust can save us from the path to auto-destruction.” The film revisits the theme of Romeo and Juliet’s impossible love, here incarnated by a Latin American immigrant (Judith Diakhate) and a Neo-Nazi (Álex González).
Julián is a young, angry Neo-Nazi. Despite being poisoned by hate, there is nobility in his soul. He will discover it in a boxing gym thanks to Carlomonte (Carlos Bardem), an alcoholic and a former boxer who once had it all but lost it. In the gym, Julián will learn to fight with rules. He will slowly empty himself of hate, and learn to love when he meets Alyssa, a young immigrant. Julián will have to take an important decision when his former colleagues (among whom Miguel Ángel Silvestre and Javier Bardem as Solis, the group’s ideologue) put him to the test.
French international sales agency Wild Bunch will sell the film abroad, which guarantees it a great presence on the international market and, who knows, perhaps even the possibility of entering next year's Cannes Film Festival.
(Translated from Spanish)