Blood Wedding (1981)

  • Year: 1981
  • Released: 09 Mar 1981
  • Country: Spain, France
  • Adwords: 4 wins & 1 nomination
  • IMDb:
  • Rotten Tomatoes:
  • Metacritics:
  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: Spanish
  • MPA Rating: Not Rated
  • Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
  • Runtime: 67 min
  • Writer: Antonio Gades, Federico García Lorca, Alfredo Mañas
  • Director: Carlos Saura
  • Cast: Antonio Gades, Cristina Hoyos, Juan Antonio Jiménez
  • Keywords:

Blood Wedding Storyline

A group of dancers puts Lorca’s ‘Blood Wedding’ on stage, the tragic play about a married man who is still in love with his ex-girlfriend, and tries to reunite with her despite her planned wedding.

Blood Wedding Photos

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Blood Wedding Movie Reviews

“The weeping of the guitar begins…”

I’ve wanted to see the first film in the Carlos Saura -Antonio Gades’ flamenco trilogy, Blood Wedding(Bodas de sangre), 1981, for many years, after I saw and was fascinated by the second entry in the trilogy, Carmen (1983). Bodas de Sangre has impressed me as much as Carmen. The film chronicles one day of the Gades’s dancing company which members gather for the dress rehearsal of the ballet based on the drama by Federico Garcia Lorca and performed in flamenco style. First twenty minutes or so depict the dancers arriving to the theater and preparing for the dress rehearsal. Saura’s camera follows the performers while they apply the make- up and change the clothes for the stage costumes. In this part of the film, Antonio Gades shares his memories of becoming a dancer and of the artists who had influenced him.

Then, we are transported to the past, on the day of the fateful wedding that would change forever the lives of three people, the Bride (Cristina Hoyes), her Lover Leonardo ( Antonio Gades ), and the Groom (Juan Antonio Jimenez) and these close to them, forever. The powerful, intense, passionate yet restrained, the ballet choreographed by Antonio Gades is excellent. The tragic story of two ill-fated lovers first told by Lorca and then re-told in the language of uniquely Spanish art of flamenco that combines Guitar music, dance, and singing. The dancers express the deepest emotions and burning desires in perfectly fluid neat movements that are captured by the camera of film director, Carlos Saura.

The unforgettable film seems very simple on the surface because it never leaves the rehearsal studio. There are no elaborate set decorations or stunning visuals. The costumes are simple and the color black dominates with the one exception only, the white color for the Bride’s wedding gown, her shoes and stockings. The strength of Saura’s vision is in following the performers closely and making the viewer a participant of the tragic story that happens in front of us. The final scene of the film is quite extraordinary considering that there were no special effects used during the filming. The duel on the knives between the groom and the lover takes place for as long as 6 minutes in slow motion in silence. Maybe it was so slow because both men knew that in the end of it there will be death and the time stopped for them. How the performers could maintain the perfect movements, bending in the impossible angles and expressing the powerful emotions in that almost impossible to imagine slow tempo -is a great secret and a stunning achievement of the performers, the choreographer who staged the scene, and the director who had captured them.

Dancing a Play – The Beginning of a Dance Trilogy

A company of Flamenco dancers rehearsal a play of Federico Garcia Lorca about a wedding imposed by the parents to the bride. She is indeed in love of another man, and when the groom finds her with her lover, they duel with razors, ending tragically the feast.

“Bodas de Sangre” is an original movie, where a play is danced in a room. I personally like this folkloric Spanish gypsy style of music and dancing, therefore I liked this film. However, I agree that for those viewers not used to this type of dancing and music, this art movie probably is boring. The group of dancers is excellent, and gives a wonderful choreography and interpretation. This film is the beginning of Carlos Saura’s dance trilogy, completed with “Carmen” (1983) and “El Amor Brujo” (1986). My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): “Bodas de Sangue” (“Blood Wedding Feast”)

Dig deep

The play on which this film is based is Federico García – Lorca’s classic, poetic drama. The playwright/poet/actor/artist, who was probably Salvador Dalí’s lover, was a brilliant sensualist who understood the power of myth and rural life. In this movie the story that is being performed on stage, the story that is taking place off stage, the whole weight of Spanish history and culture, the weight of flamenco as ballet and as folk art, and modern myths of romantic love are layered over and over each other. The movie is inexorable — even when you realize the outcome, you are drawn hypnotized into it. Perhaps the greatest dance film ever made! You MUST see it.