Spanish subscription cinema and literature
8. La casa de Bernarda Alba
Finished in 1936 only a few months before his death, this play has a cast of only women: Bernarda Alba and her seven daughters. On the death of her husband, the mother declares a period of mourning of seven years. This, added to the fact that she considers none in the village good enough for her daughters, builds up latent tension in the play.
Only Angustias, who has inherited money from her father, Bernarda's first husband, is eligible to court a man - although she doesn't know that her younger, prettier sister Adela is already secretly courting her intended, Pepe. So all the makings of a tragedy here in this encapsulation of the hypocrisies and constraints which beset a Spain that could make life so claustrophobic and miserable.
In short, La casa de Bernarda Alba is a short play, presented in very accessible language, which has much to discuss and study.