There have been many tales of forbidden love, almost as many as there is about unrequited love. Carmen & Lola is about both, a Spanish story involving the Gypsy community.
Filmed in an almost documentary style, writer and director Arantxa Echevarria (“7 From Etheria”, “Panchito (Short)”) has created a beautiful story that is filled with passion, hope and had the whole cinema absorbed from the start and holding their breath for the final 20 minutes or more.
Spanish gypsy girls are expected to work with their parents, usually on market stalls, instead of going to school. They are also expected to be married young and be housewives for their husbands.
Lola, Zaira Romero, is a 16, almost 17-year old gypsy girl in Spain and doesn’t feel the same way her parents do, or other gypsy girls do. She doesn’t want marriage, housewife, kids, she likes girls, she wants love, she wants passion, she wants Carmen, Rosy Rodriguez.
Carmen is also a gypsy girl, someone who also works on a market stall with her parents. She has just recently got engaged, to Lola’s cousin, and thinks lesbians are abhorrent.
They become friends before Carmen learns of Lola’s persuasion, the two falling out on Carmen learning this about Lola. When the two eventually become friends again, Carmen begins to have feelings for Lola that she didn’t have before, and Lola is only to happy to begin emerging from her shell.
All of this flies in the face of the gypsy community and Lola’s parents take the news, upon learning it from a nosy neighbour, of their daughters love for another woman, very badly, particularly her father Paco, Moreno Borja.
The pair must decide what to do when everyone around them learns of their forbidden love and passions and anger rises. What will Paco do when he finds out? What will Lola’s mother do? Carmen’s parents? It’s a breathless final run-in.
The pair are helped out by Paqui, Carolina Yusta (“Noviembre, 1998 (Short)”, “La Sonata Del Silencio”), a teacher who Lola knows well. Yusta attempts to add some calm to proceedings, wanting to allow the girls to just be themselves.
Carmen & Lola is a beautiful film about two people simply in love with each other. Whilst others complain, try to change the girls, they just want to be together, to live their lives, their way.
Nearly everyone in Carmen & Lola are first-time actors, not that you’d know it as the performances are brilliant. Both Romero and Rodriguez shine in their respective roles, full of fiery Spanish passion and love for each other.
The supporting cast also add to the atmosphere of the whole thing, which at the start is all parties, singing and dancing and plenty of food.
Carmen & Lola is a love story, a beautiful, wonderful love story, with fantastic performances from first-time actors.