Porque Te Vas scene from the film Cria Cuervos
My love for cheesy Spanish 70s pop ballads started with this song, one of my all time favorites, Jeanette’s Por Que Te Vas. My introduction to this wistful melody was through the dark and melancholy 1976 film, Cria Cuervos. In the movie, the young girl Ana uses the song as way to escape the dreariness and sorrow of her family life (an allegorical stand in for fascist Spain). Ana’s father, a fascist military man has recently died (she believes she has poisoned him) and her dead mother who died a few years before, comes to Ana as a phantom memory. Her authoritarian aunt and dying grandmother are left to look after her but her real life lessons come from the anarchistic housekeeper. In the midst of this turmoil, young Ana begins to mix reality with fantasy and at times, her older self of the future speaks to her:
I don’t believe in childhood paradise, or in innocence, or the natural goodness of children. I remember my childhood as a long period of time, interminable, sad, full of fear, fear of the unknown.
In this context, the song is transformed and the lyrics “Hoy en mi ventana brilla el sol/ y un corazon/ se pone triste contemplando la ciudad/ por que te vas” take on more meaning than Jeanette could ever have imagined.
The director of Cria Cuervos, Carlos Saura went on later to make a number of fantastic flamenco themed movies.
[As an aside, for another take on childhood-turned-on-it’s-head movies, I totally recommend Terry Gilliam’s Tideland, an all time favorite of mine. Not for those that are squeamish, easily offended or have delicate sensibilities. Coincidentally, in both films the young protagonists have interactions with little critters. In Tideland, Jeliza-Rose is taunted by a squirrel and in Cria Cuervos, Ana is attached to a pet guinea pig. ]
On to more music!>>>>>
(warning, lots of videos after the jump)