1939-1975 Franco’s Spain in Colour is a feature-length documentary that starts when the Spanish civil war ends. After the victory of the insurgents in the Civil War, Franco becomes the Caudillo (Great Leader) of Spain. The army, the church and the Falange are the three pillars of his dictatorship. In the first few years, every trace of republicanism is erased and anyone designated as an enemy of the fatherland is punished, silenced or executed. Franco aligns his regime with Hitler and Mussolini, but when World War II begins to go the Allies’ way, Franco is forced to distance himself from fascism. NO-DO, the regime’s official newsreel provider, is responsible for projecting an idealized image of Spain that masks reality: the country is isolated, backward and impoverished. The Cold War provides Franco with a lifeline for survival in the new world order. His ultra-religious and anti-Communist regime finds the Vatican and the United States as its international backers. The sixties are the highpoint of Franco’s regime. Economic development, the boom in tourism and the exodus from the countryside to industrial areas transform the country. Workers’ and students’ movements and political dissidence are also on the rise, but the regime represses them harshly. The assassination of Carrero Blanco in 1973 is the beginning of the end for Francoism. El Caudillo dies on 20 November 1975, aged 82, but the shadow of his dictatorship is cast well into the future.
All this is shown in the documentary, and in a way never seen until now; in colour. We have been able to access the documentary collections preserved in the Spanish National Film Library, the most important of which is the NO-DO collection. As well as the NO-DO newsreels, other collections at the Spanish National Film Library were used, such as the Historical Archive, the Black and White Documentary Archive, the Colour Documentary Archive and News Image Archive.
The documentation team searched and found footage in many other film archives such as the Basque Film Library, the Film Library of Catalonia, REUTERS, NARA, the NATO Archives and British Pathé. A laborious search was also carried out for photographs, press cuttings and documents from media outlets and agencies such as EFE, ABC, ALBUM, La Vanguardia, the Administration General Archive or the Salamanca Archive, and the Fundación 1 de mayo.
This documentary picks up where the feature-length documentary Spain in Two Trenches, the Civil War in Colour left off, and shows our clear commitment to producing feature-length historical documentaries so that the past does not fall into oblivion, as well as our commitment to producing these documentaries in colour.