Antonio de la Torre and Luis Zahera in "The Realm" (2018)

Antonio de la Torre and Luis Zahera in The Realm (2018)

Manuel Gómez Vidal (Antonio de la Torre) has a good life: a family that loves him, lots of friends and a charisma which has made him a beloved politician in his community. Everything seems to indicate that he will be the next regional president of his political party. He seems professional, assured in how he conducts his business, confident that he is the master of the world of politics. But there is a sickness in the party slowly being unearthed by the media that could put his status and those around him at risk should it be discovered. With the party choosing to wipe their hands and distance themselves from his presence, Manuel takes matters into his own hands to clear his name.

This is the story of The Realm, Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s third film as a solo director, a thriller, co-written with Isabel Peña, about the misfortune of a corrupt politician. Sorogoyen felt a need to channel the public anger that was brewing from the moment Spanish politicians swapped their parliamentary benches for a lavish lifestyle with the aid of a “black” credit card. “When all these cases of corruption began to come to light in a very troubled time, we saw the cinematic potential that these stories had because there are elements of a thriller, betrayals and even human drama,” explained the director during an interview at last year’s San Sebastian Film Festival.

Sorogoyen (Madrid, Spain.1981) who was inspired by Alan J. Pakula’s All the President’s Men when writing the script, was motivated by the need to do something for the citizenry. “The film came out of the outrage over what was happening in our political arena at the time,” said Sorogoyen during the Gionarte Degli Autori at this year’s Venice Film Festival. “A corruption that is not new, on the contrary, it has been established both in Spain and in Europe for many years,” added the Spanish director. One of the keys to telling stories is to understand the character no matter how monstrous it may be." That is precisely what Sorogoyen has done with Manuel Gomez. "The aim of the film is to highlight that we have the politicians we deserve,” says the filmmaker.

The film won seven Goya awards (given by the Spanish Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Science) including Best Director, Best Actor (Antonio de la Torre), and Best Original Screenplay, in 2018.