Director: Jose Corbacho & Juan Cruz

Spain| 2006. Subtitled. Colour. Dolby Digital Stereo. 94 min

An unexpectedly appetising, deceptively slight slice of Barcelona barrio life, Tapas has wowed Spanish audience and critics. The recipient of several awards, directors Jose Corbacho and Juan Cruz’s deft, unpretentious debut is low-key, character-based fare whose multiple virtues are grounded in its faithfulness to emotional truth. It features three loosely interwoven stories. The first deals with rotund, blustering bar owner Lolo (Angel de Andres Lopez), who is abandoned by his spouse even before the credits have finished. Suddenly needing a cook, Lolo hires a Chinese immigrant and suddenly finds the bar getting a reputation for good food. Meanwhile, middle-aged shop-owner Raquel (Elvira Minguez), also separated and equally isolated, is involved with an Internet relationship when teen supermarket worker Cesar (Ruben Ochandiano) turns up at the house to fix her video. The third yarn involves the elderly Conchi (the ever dependable Maria Galiana), who makes a living by selling speed to local kids in Lolo’s bar. Directors Cruz and Corbacho set up their characters with great skill and lay out their dilemmas without slipping into melodrama.

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