Nobody Will Speak of Us When We’re Dead

Director: Augustin Diaz Yanes
Screenwriters: Augustin Diaz Yanes

Institute History

  • 1996 Sundance Film Festival


A moral tale which begins with unmentionable sexual acts and three killings may seem a contradiction in terms, but it‘s exactly this intermeshing of genres, styles, and ambience which both propels this debut feature by Spanish director Augustín Díaz Yanes and makes it so intriguing.

The film stars veteran actress Victoria Abril as Gloria, a hooker working in Mexico who has the misfortune to be part of this whole mess, resulting in her deportation. Fortunately, she has the address book with the location where the Mexican gang stores its loot in Madrid. Broke, fighting her alcoholism, but still striving, Gloria swallows her pride and returns to live with her aging mother-in-law, who had to take over when Gloria deserted her paralyzed husband. Dona Julia, with her strong moral code and integrity, is everything that Gloria isn’t. Gloria also isn’t willing to live in poverty. She wants to go straight but can’t find work, so she seeks out the money. Meanwhile, someone from Mexico is on her trail.

Contrasting thriller versus social realism and violence against poverty is a difficult, but fascinating, balancing act, and Yanes executes an alternately reflective and cathartic film. Superbly intense performances by Abril and Federico Luppi, the God-obsessed hitman, make Nobody Will Speak of Us the work of a filmmaker to watch.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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