LA TRINCHERA INFINITA

Spain, France

Synopsis

Higinio and Rosa are newlyweds when the Spanish Civil War breaks out and his life becomes seriously threatened. With the help of his wife, he decides to use a hole dug in his own house as a temporary hiding place. The fear of possible reprisals and the love they feel for one another will eventually mean he is forced to hide there for over 30 years.

Directors Statement

They’re looking for Higinio, he knows it. In his town, as in all of Andalusia, things have gradually become more complicated for the republican side during the first months of fighting. The atmosphere is oppressive, and although the battle is still going on in many parts of Spain, in towns like Higinio’s nationalist domination is a fact, and the victors are already taking their revenge. His neighbor Gonzalo has taken all this as a very personal matter, giving free rein to old grudges and making sure that Higinio’s name appears well at the top of the list of men who have to be executed. During a raid, Higinio has no alternative but to escape into the countryside. There, other fugitives inform him that any comrades who aren’t captured by the nationalists are leaving for the republican front in Almeria. But Higinio isn’t willing to do that as it would mean abandoning his wife Rosa in the town; they’ve only been married a short time and are hopelessly in love. He goes back to get her so they can escape together. However, once he’s in the house and while he’s explaining his plan to Rosa, Gonzalo forces his way into the house. Higinio manages to avoid being discovered by hiding in extremis in a hiding place that he himself had dug under the larder in the kitchen and that no one knows about. This episode is enough to make our protagonists realize that escape isn’t going to be easy while their neighbor is prowling around their house day and night. So the couple decide that the best thing is for Higinio to remain in hiding until things calm down. It will be a matter of hours, a couple of days at the most. But the entrenchment lasted longer than expected. Higinio Blanco remained in hiding for three decades. Through an episodic structure where the ellipses play an essential part, we will accompany Higinio over the course of those 32 years. Without ever abandoning his point of view, we will show his evolution and all the states he passes through. His initial panic that his neighbor might discover him, his growing obsession with not making the slightest noise, his powerless at being unable to do anything to prevent the harassment his wife suffers, the routine of being confined, the hope that Francoism will end soon, the resulting disappointment followed by profound despair, resignation, apathy, illness, loneliness, but above all, that FEAR. The fear of being discovered, of crossing the threshold of his house and shouting “I’m here!” Fear as a metaphor for all those who had to live in hiding (who have to live in hiding), perhaps not physically, but psychologically. A fear that isn’t eased with the passing of the years, for it has seeped so deeply into you that it is now part of your being, paralyzing you completely.

Director's Biography

THE INFINITE TRENCH is the first film directed as a three-hander by Arregi, Garaño and Goenaga, who nevertheless have been working together for over 15 years from their production company Moriarti. In their previous films they have always worked as a group, but with their new film they are, in some way, making their collective way of working official, as the film will be signed on this occasion by three directors.

Their previous film HANDIA, winner of the Special Jury Award at the 65th edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival and of 10 of the 13 Goyas for which it was nominated, was directed by Arregi and Garaño. Their first two films, LOREAK (Spain’s candidate for the Oscar) and 80 EGUNEAN (which won over 30 international awards) were directed by Garaño and Goenaga.

FILMOGRAPHY:
2019 THE ENDLESS TRENCH
2017 HANDIA
2014 LOREAK
2010 80 EGUNEAN
2007 LUICO
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño, Jose Mari Goenaga

Written by: Jose Mari Goenaga, Luiso Berdejo

Produced by: Xabier Berzosa, Olmo Figuerego González-Quevedo, Jose Mari Goenaga, Birgit Kemner

Cinematography: Javier Agirre Erauso

Editing: Raúl López, Laurent Dufreche

Production Design: Pepe Dominguez

Costume Design: Saioa Lara, Lourdes Fuentes

Make-Up & Hair: Yolanda Piña, Félix Terrero, Nacho Diaz

Original Score: Pascal Gaigne

Sound: Xanti Salvador, Nacho Royo-Vilanova, Alazne Ameztoy, Iñaki Diez

Visual Effects: David Heras

Main Cast: Antonio De La Torre (Higinio), Belén Cuesta (Rosa)

Casting: Yolanda Serrano, Eva Leira

Nominations and Awards

  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2020