After the Vote

Duncan Wheeler

In 2014 the movie Ocho apellidos vascos broke all records at the Spanish box office. Amaia, a young Basque woman, visits Seville for the first time. Rafa, a local Don Juan who has never left Andalusia, follows her back home, unaccustomed to a woman resisting his advances. A sequel, Ocho apellidos catalanes, appeared the next year, and is set in a small town outside Gerona (Amaia is now going out with a Catalan) whose inhabitants pretend Catalonia has gained independence from the Spanish state in order to please an ageing matriarch. The follow-up was less popular and not so funny, but it does show how quickly the Catalan situation has escalated: the gag in which an aghast Spaniard calls the police because he thinks the town has illegally declared independence has lost all comic appeal. On 1 October the police and civil guard followed Spanish government orders to disrupt voting in the referendum on independence that the Catalan parliament had approved but which Spain’s courts and national parliament had declared illegal.

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