Spanish Film Festival 2024 – The Teacher Who Promised the Sea Movie Review

Antoni Benaiges played with a wonderful finesse by Spanish actor Enric Auquer was a teacher, humanist and free thinker and it cost him his life. The Teacher Who Promised the Sea tells the tale of a small period of his tragically short life and it is a very emotional journey. The film also informs of the pre-World War Two time in Spain when the Falangism came to power. They adhered to a fascist ideology and took it to its radical extremes.

The film is based on the book Unearthing the Silence: Antoni Benaiges, the master who promises the sea by Francesc Escribano and it is a powerful indictment against unchecked power and conservative thinking. In 1935 Antoni began teaching in a small village in the province of Burgos. His unique (for the time) teaching techniques were not well received nor was his political stance, one that openly opposed Fascism.



Loved by all of his students yet loathed by their parents, he runs headlong into their conservative thinking and provincial ways. This is not helped in the least by the fact he is a declared atheist. The Village’s man of God almost immediately becomes his enemy and this creates a friction that powers a great deal of anger towards him. This story is dovetailed into a modern-day take on the discoveries of mass graves of victims of the fascist regimes.

Teachers tend to get short shrift in these modern times and their positive effect on the future of almost any society deserves more attention and admiration, not to mention better pay. On a personal level, there were a few teachers in my past who were incredibly inspirational and helped to inform and expand my worldview to my great benefit. Like all great art, this wonderful film brought back vivid memories of their positive effect on my life. The underlying tragedy of Antoni Benaiges’ story only increases the emotional impact.
Rob Hudson

The Teacher Who Promised the Sea screenings in Brisbane
Saturday 15th June 8:40pm
Monday 17th June 11:00am
Thursday 20th June 3:30pm
Sunday 23rd June 3:20pm
Tuesday 25th June 8:30pm
Thursday 27th June 5:30pm
Sunday 30th June 11:00am
Monday 1st July 8:45pm
Friday 5th July 6:00pm

Saturday 15th June 3:45pm
Monday 17th June 5:30pm
Saturday 22nd June 3:45pm
Monday 24th June 10:50am
Sunday 30th June 6:10pm
Sunday 7th July 1:15pm

The Spanish Film Festival runs in Brisbane from 13 June – 10 July, and will take place at the Palace James Street and Palace Barracks cinemas.

Click here for more information about the festival, or head to the official website for more information and to book your tickets!