fbpx Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle | Gene Siskel Film Center
Chicago European Union Film Festival 2018
Chicago premiere!

Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle

Muchos hijos, un mono y un castillo

2017, Gustavo Salmerón, Spain, 89 min.

Show Times

  • Fri, Mar 9th 4:00pm
  • Mon, Mar 12th 6:00pm

"A celebration of the life of an extraordinary woman with whom most viewers will probably also have fallen in love by the time the credits roll." - Jonathan Holland, Hollywood Reporter

An award-winner at several film festivals as well as a surprise box-office hit in Spain, this documentary is a tribute by Spanish actor/filmmaker Salmerón to his 81-year-old mother Julita, whose many endearing eccentricities achieve outlandish proportions. Just one of them involves keeping two of her grandmother's vertebrae in a long-misplaced box, the search for which provides a running thread in the film. She also declares her desire to be buried in a nun's habit, and stages a full-scale dress rehearsal to prove it. The title refers to three wishes that were made by Julita as a girl and, in fairy-tale fashion, eventually came true. The castle itself is a hoarder's paradise of shelves, drawers, boxes, and closets bursting with a surreal jumble of wildly assorted paraphernalia, from armor to bullfighter capes to enema bags. But life isn't a fairy tale, and, like Spain itself, the family's fortunes turned downward with the 2008 economic crisis. Facing bankruptcy, they must now sell off the castle and most of its possessions, leading to a tortuous process of winnowing out the junk from the real junk. And fate has even more in store to test Julita's resolve... There's a GREY GARDENS vibe (but with a closer personal involvement of the filmmaker) to this funny/sad spectacle of indomitable idiosyncrasy enduring among ruined grandeur. In Spanish with English subtitles. Courtesy of Dogwoof Ltd. DCP digital. (MR)

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