Carmen & Lola

Carmen y Lola

Director: Arantxa Echevarría
2018 | Spain | 105m


It’s instant chemistry when Carmen and Lola meet one rainy day. The two teenagers live in an insular Roma community on the drab outskirts of Madrid, where early marriage is the norm and girls aren’t supposed to smoke, have cell phones, or date. While Carmen has obediently gotten engaged to a nice Roma boy, Lola sneaks off to the local internet café to explore lesbian chat rooms. Despite the host of obstacles confronting them (including Carmen’s own internalized homophobia), the two keep returning to each other, to bum a cigarette, share a dance, or demonstrate their kissing skills.

Bathing this harsh world in a golden light, the film—which won the Best New Director Award at the Goyas, Spain’s equivalent to the Oscars, after premiering at the Cannes Film Festival—alternates between documentary-like depictions of Roma traditions and lush scenes of amorous exploration, as when Lola takes Carmen to a deserted pool for a lesson in fantasy swimming. Tension mounts as the girls take bigger risks and the dangers of discovery loom. While the film doesn’t downplay their pain, this is ultimately a tender story of two girls following their hearts against all odds.



Consulate of Spain in San Francisco

  • Language: In Spanish with English subtitles
  • Premiere Status: Bay Area