To an Unknown God

Last updated
A un dios desconocido
A un dios desconocido.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jaime Chávarri
Written by Elías Querejeta
Jaime Chávarri
Produced byElías Querejeta
Starring Héctor Alterio
Xabier Elorriaga
Ángela Molina
Mercedes Sampietro
Rosa Valenty
Mirtha Miller
Cinematography Teodoro Escamilla
Music by Luis de Pablo
Release date
  • 16 September 1977 (1977-09-16)
Running time
104 minutes

To an Unknown God (Spanish : A un dios desconocido) is a 1977 Spanish film directed by Jaime Chávarri. The film is about an aging man coming to terms with his homosexuality and mortality. It was a pioneer in its frank and mature examination of homosexuality.



José, a middle age magician, is an elegant discreet homosexual who lives alone and has an occasional affair with Miguel, a young politician who finds it more convenient in Madrid's high society to marry than assert his homosexuality. José is a man romantically possessed and obsessed by his childhood in Granada during the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in the spring of 1936.

Now in his fifties, José returns to Granada and relives his childhood there. A time when he fell in love with García Lorca and had a youthful affair with one of Lorca's own lovers. Memories come flooding back to the mature José, of youthful sexual conquest, of Lorca's murder at the hands of Franco's agents, and his own early homosexual affairs. José's entire life is colored by his obsessions with García Lorca, his unknown God, to whom the film is dedicated.

José travels twice to Granada. First, he revisits a woman who is also obsessed with García Lorca's memory, and steals a photograph of the boy with whom he had his first sexual encounter; later, José returns to Madrid, to a party in search of his youth, and meets a pianist with whom he had sexual relations many years before but now does not remember.

When José returns to Madrid, he is a man tormented by his past, and in search of peace. Listening to a taped recording of García Lorca's famous "Ode to Walt Whitman", he desires nothing more than to face the rest of his life in loneliness, although his recent lover, Miguel has returned to his bed and wants to continue their affair. José realizes that he is really all alone in their world, alone with his God.



The film was the Grand Prize winner at the Chicago International Film Festival of 1978 and was part of the American Film Institute series of Spanish films which traveled throughout North America in 1979–1980. Hector Alterio also won the Best actor award at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 1977 for his performance as José.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Federico García Lorca</span> Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director (1898–1936)

Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca, known as Federico García Lorca, was a Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director. García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of '27, a group consisting mostly of poets who introduced the tenets of European movements into Spanish literature.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Héctor Alterio</span> Argentine actor

Héctor Benjamín Alterio Onorato is an Argentine theatre, film and television actor, well known both in Argentina and Spain.

Manuel Altolaguirre was a Spanish poet, an editor, publisher, and printer of poetry, and a member of the Generation of '27.

Ainadamar is the first opera by Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov. The libretto was written by American playwright David Henry Hwang and translated from English into Spanish by the composer. It premiered in Tanglewood on 10 August 2003 and, after major revisions, the new version was given its premiere at the Santa Fe Opera on 30 July 2005.

Jaime Chávarri is a Spanish film director and screenwriter, best known for his films El desencanto and Las bicicletas son para el verano.

<i>Son of the Bride</i> 2001 film

Son of the Bride is a 2001 Argentine comedy-drama film directed by Juan José Campanella and written by Campanella and Fernando Castets. The executive producers were Juan Vera and Juan Pablo Galli, and it was produced by Adrián Suar. It stars Ricardo Darín, Héctor Alterio, Norma Aleandro, Eduardo Blanco and Natalia Verbeke.

Emilio García Gómez, 1st Count of Alixares was a Spanish Arabist, literary historian and critic, whose talent as a poet enriched his many translations from Arabic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Colombian literature</span>

Colombian literature, as an expression of the culture of Colombia, is heterogeneous due to the coexistence of Spanish, African and Native American heritages in an extremely diverse geography. Five distinct historical and cultural traditions can be identified, with their own socioeconomic history: the Caribbean coast, Greater Antioquia, the Cundinamarca-Boyacá Highlands, Greater Tolima and the Western Valley. Colombia produced one of the richest literatures of Latin America, as much for its abundance as for its variety and innovation during the 19th and 20th centuries. Colombian intellectuals who forged the literature of this period also contributed decisively to the consolidation of Latin American literature.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ernesto Alterio</span> Argentine-Spanish actor

Ernesto Federico Alterio Bacaicoa is an Argentine-Spanish film, theatre, and television actor.

<i>Wild Horses</i> (1995 film) 1995 film

Wild Horses is a 1995 Argentine road movie directed by Marcelo Piñeyro and written by Piñeyro and Aída Bortnik. It stars Héctor Alterio, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Cecilia Dopazo and Federico Luppi in a cameo appearance. The film chronicles the five days of two fugitives on the run after robbing a corporation and being targeted by the media. The film was the most popular Argentinian film of the year. It was selected as the Argentine entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 68th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.

Amar en tiempos revueltos, is a Spanish soap opera set in the times of the Spanish civil war and Francoist Spain. The serial was aired from 2005 to 2012 on La 1 of Televisión Española. Following disagreements of producing company Diagonal TV with RTVE, the fiction was relaunched in January 2013 on Antena 3 as Amar es para siempre. The broadcasting run from 27 September 2005 to 16 November 2012 comprised 1,707 episodes, 8 special episodes and 1 recap episode. The series has won prizes in Spain and a silver medal in the New York Festival.

<i>Little Ashes</i> 2008 British film

Little Ashes is a 2008 Spanish-British drama film set against the backdrop of Spain during the 1920s and 1930s, as three of the era's most creative young talents meet at university and set off on a course to change their world. Luis Buñuel watches helplessly as the friendship between surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and the poet Federico García Lorca develops into a love affair.

The Man Who Knew Love is a 1976 Spanish biographical film directed by Miguel Picazo which stars Timothy Dalton as John of God alongside Antonio Ferrandis, Jonathan Burn, Antonio Mendoza, Queta Claver and Ángela Molina.

Luis Rosales Camacho was a Spanish poet and essay writer member of the Generation of '36.

Suso's Tower is a 2007 Spanish comedy-drama film written and directed by Tom Fernández, in his directorial debut feature. It stars Javier Cámara, Gonzalo de Castro, Malena Alterio, and Emilio Gutiérrez Caba. Fernández was nominated for best new director, Caba for best supporting actor and de Castro for best new actor at the 2008 Goya Awards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Luis García Montero</span> Spanish poet and literary critic

Luis García Montero is a Spanish poet and literary critic, as well as a professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Granada.

<i>Blue and Not So Pink</i> 2012 film

Blue and Not So Pink is a Venezuelan drama film written and directed by Miguel Ferrari and released in November 2012.

María Dolores García Cotarelo is a Spanish politician. First involved with a clandestine socialist organization back in 1975, she went on to become the Deputy Mayor of Culture of the City Hall of Granada and was charged with insulting religion. She continued to be involved in party politics in 2017, and was honored in 2018 as one of eleven women who helped bring democracy to Granada.

<i>Paño verde</i> 1973 Argentine film

Paño verde is a 1973 Argentine gangster film drama directed by Mario David. The film, based on a 1955 novel of the same name by Roger Plá, is set in Buenos Aires in the 1940s, covering the formation, rise and fall of a criminal gang. It stars Carlos Estrada as the protagonist mafia boss Miguel Acuña, Luis Brandoni, Julia von Grolman and Héctor Alterio. Víctor Proncet composed the soundtrack.

Fading Memories aka Wiped-Out Footprints is a 1999 Spanish-Argentine drama film directed by Enrique Gabriel which stars Federico Luppi, Mercedes Sampietro, Elena Anaya, and Héctor Alterio.