Until today it was believed that Spanish cinema was not classified as a cultural interest (BIC), that no film was protected by the highest category of protection of historical heritage. Neither Viridiana (1961), of Luis Buñuel, neither The executioner (1963), of Luis García Berlanga, for example. But it's not like that. There are two audiovisual works registered and declared as such since 1993, although it was not known: the NO-DO and the script of Race, written by Francisco Franco under the pseudonym of Jaime de Andrade, La película, directed by José Luis Saénz de Heredia -the cousin of José Antonio Primo de Rivera- and premiered in 1942, was a box-office hit.
The procedure for the opening of both assets started from the Government of Navarre 25 years ago. In fact, both have the same registration date: June 21, 1993. The autonomous Executive was then in the hands of the Conservative Union of the Navarrese People (UPN), with Juan Cruz Alli at his head. A few days before the start of the procedure to protect the Francoist pamphlet, in Spain general elections had been held, the sixth, and returned to defeat the PSOE of Felipe González, who had been in power since 1982.
The finding of the corresponding file in the Register of Assets of Cultural Interest that appears in the catalog web of movable cultural goods of the Ministry of Culture, has motivated a parliamentary question to the Government of United We can, when not being able to consult the complete file.
Race It is Franco's cinematic dream come true. This is defined by the film historian Magí Crusells, co-author with José María Caparrós de The movies Franco saw (Chair). In it, he adds, the essence of national Catholic values is adored. "It is anti-communist, fascist and racist, especially in the first version. The second, 1950 [Espíritu de una raza], He tried to sweeten and eliminate the elements that could irritate the international community, "he explains. In fact, he ordered the removal and destruction of all copies of Race, except one complete, in good condition, found in 1995, in a German library.
Script and No-Do were declared BIC on July 22, 1993 in Navarra, but the documentation service of the Congress of Deputies has not been able to find the file nor in the Official Bulletin of Navarre in which it was published, as EL PAÍS has learned. Without the document, the author of the cataloging is not known, nor the reasons he alleged for initiating this striking safeguard operation.
This newspaper has been in contact with the Registry, Movable Property and Archeology services of Navarra, but the claim of the file was not answered. Neither did the Ministry of Culture yesterday Thursday. This newspaper also consulted yesterday at the headquarters of the Official Bulletin of Navarre, in Pamplona, the numbers published during several months following the declaration of cultural interest of July 1993 without finding any reference, reports Andrés García from the Riva. The bulletin copies began to be digitized in 1996.
The most striking thing is that audiovisual assets do not have the category of BIC; Therefore, both the NO-DO and the Race they are still "to be assigned", although they are included in the "Ethnography" section, as recorded in the Culture register, as can be seen by consulting their website. Only the law of Valencian heritage recognizes the protection of audiovisual production. Adopting the figure is a pending and urgent task to tackle the film legacy, according to experts and various political groups.
Sources of Geroa Bai, the nationalist coalition that governs Navarra, said on Thursday that they did not have proof of the request for declaration as a good of cultural interest and, therefore, they do not know the reasons for its processing 25 years ago. Dori López Jurío, general director of Culture, stressed that her team "would not now raise a BIC declaration of a work like the script of Race".
In 1993, the Navarre cultural policy was directed by Javier Marcotegui, of UPN, who showed his surprise at the existence of that BIC allegedly processed from his department. "The information surprises me extraordinarily. I dont remember anything. I do not know what could happen so that an initiative that is not linked to Navarra left from here, "he told EL PAÍS. And he refers to his then director general of Culture, Javier Zubiaur, "a man of cinema, who has always fought to protect the filmed heritage."
"I had no idea about this," says Zubiaur. "The cinema has always been a very unattended sector. I remember that when we arrived, we initiated the procedures to protect Navarra, the four seasons (1972), by Pío Caro Baroja, because the copy was in very bad conditions, but I am surprised that it was asked to protect these two works. I do not argue that they are worthy as a document, but I as director did not give that order, "he says.
25 years ago, someone in Navarra already thought about the historical memory, but in the Francoist era, and went ahead in its own way 14 years to the law that recognizes and extends rights in favor of those who suffered persecution or violence during the Civil War and the dictatorship .
The spokesman for Culture of Unidos Podemos in the Congress, Eduardo Maura, maintains that this case reveals "a great neglect of the audiovisual heritage in Spain". "A country with memory and that cares about its audiovisual heritage, which cares about its authors and audiovisual authors, would never allow that of Race outside, as it is, the only script that enjoys protection as BIC. But this should also alert us to a serious memory problem. We debated a lot about the Valley [de los Caídos] and the tomb of Franco, but what about the cultural and immaterial legacy of the Franco regime? Is not that important or more? "He adds.
In a way, that request for protection was a tribute to the individual Mein Kampf Franco and his figure as an ideologist, not the work of Sáenz de Heredia as a filmmaker, and as editor of the best Francoist manifesto. In 1964, Franco applied to register with the SGAE, which revealed that Jaime de Andrade was the pseudonym with which he signed the work.
Franco tells the story of a Galician family from the loss of the colonies in 1898 until the Civil War. The autobiographical echo in the film is evident: the protagonist is given for dead in combat, as happened to him, and he has a republican brother who joins the coup d'état (like Ramón Franco).
Planeta published a version of the script in 1997, which can be purchased for eight euros. The dictator began to write a sequel, in which the protagonist enlisted in the Blue Division to fight against the Russians ... but the Germans began to lose the Second World War and Franco preferred to forget.