What to Watch: Carmen and Lola
A film by Arantxa Echevarría, Carmen and Lola is a love story that challenges the traditions of Madrid’s Roma community.
Carmen lives in a thriving Roma community in the suburbs of Madrid. Like every other woman she has ever met, she is destined to be married to a boy of her parents’ choosing. But when Lola – a fellow Roma girl with dreams of going to university and succeeding on her own terms – catches her eye at the local market, everything changes.
The film showcases the Roma community’s customs and culture, but also highlights the restrictions that come from a tight-knit community where family and tradition is paramount.
The film’s empathetic storytelling is anchored by strong performances from Zaira Romero (Lola) and Rosy Rodriguez (Carmen).
Writer/director Echevarría drew inspiration for this story from media reports of two Romani women who were married in Granada in 2009.
“They had been rejected by their neighbours, families and the entire gypsy community…” says Echevarría, reflecting on the couple that inspired her film. “But in spite of it, they still decided to get married and be presented in the media – lending their voices to a helpless collective.”