Carpinteros, by José María Cabral

A prison, any, is a fertile ground for the birth of good dramatic stories. Literature and cinema have created and recreated very good stories about the prison issue.


The sub-genre has an absolute masterpiece in A condemned to death has escaped (1956, Robert Bresson), but also well-remembered titles, from Papillón (1973, Franklin J. Schaffner), passing through the Midnight express (1978), which he consecrated to his director Alan Parker, until The kiss of spider women (1985), which enshrined Héctor Babenco and allowed William Hurt to win the Oscar for best actor.

In more recent dates, Shawshank Redemption (1994, Frank Darabont) was a critical and public success; and the Spanish Quick 211 (2009, Daniel Monzón) got 8 Goya awards, including best film, director and actor, for the great Luis Tosar.

José María Cabral, one of the most restless directors of our cinema, presents us Carpenters, a drama shot in the Najayo Men, Najayo Mujeres and La Victoria prisons, which emerges as not only a brave social complaint, but also as one of the best cinematographic proposals of 2017.

Carpintear is to communicate by signs between the inmates and the inmates, in a loving plan beyond the bars and sentences. The discovery of that language was the spark for Cabral to build his story of love, betrayal and revenge in Najayo that, like any other prison, is an X-ray of what we are as a society: we are not all equal, nor is justice the same for all.

The selection of actors must be praised: everyone is suited to their role. We have to praise the design of the soundtrack that, at times, hypnotizes us completely. It is necessary to praise that, finally, the personages speak like the people of the street, without tapujos, nor poses of academic.

Carpenters It has had a successful tour of the festival circuit: it became the first Dominican film to enter the competition of the prestigious Sundance Festival. Then, Guadalajara, Toulouse, Panama, Santander, Seattle, Havana and a very long etcetera.

Carpenters is the biggest nominee for the Sovereign Awards of the Association of Art Writers (Acroarte) 2018.

José D'Laura
Facilitator Cine Club Centro León.