Unit 7 (2012) a film by Alberto Rodriguez

Unit 7 (Original tittle Grupo 7) is a Spanish thriller directed by Alberto Rodríguez from a screenplay written by Alberto Rodríguez and Rafael Cobos, and starring Antonio de la Torre, Mario Casas, Joaquin Nunez, Jose Manuel Poga, Imma Cuesta, and Julián Villagrán. 

Summary: The four cops of Grupo 7 (Unit 7) have a tough mission: to eradicate the most dangerous trafficking network of the city of Seville before the opening of the 1992 Seville World Exhibition, and bring an end to the corrosive power that has taken hold of the streets. Among them are Angel (Mario Casas), the leader of the unit, a young officer aspiring to become detective, and Rafael (Antonio de la Torre), a violent yet efficient cop. Over the course of their years-long mission, the two officers will take opposite directions: Angel’s ambition will lead him to seek results by any means necessary, while Rafael’s character will change when he meets a charismatic woman.

It was released in Spain on 4 April 2012. I’m planning to see soon, stay tuned.

Unit 7 screens on April 22, 24, and 25 at the Tribeca Film Festival

Forgotten Books: The Drop of Blood (Original title: La gota de sangre) by Emilia Pardo Bazán

Some scholars have noted that Alarcon’s novel, The Nail, does not have the characteristics of a classic detective story. The solution in The Nail is found by chance, fate or providence, not deductive analysis. Despite some elements of intrigue and mystery The Nail is, after all, a romantic book. See my previous post HERE. For this reason, The Drop of Blood (La gota de sangre, 1911) is widely considered the first Spanish detective novel.     

Emilia Pardo Bazán (1852 – 1921)…. wrote several stories and short novels in the detective fiction mode, particularly La cana (1911; The White Hair), La gota de sangre (1911; The Drop of Blood) and its still unpublished continuation Selva (c. 1914)….. Although the investigators are invariably male and amateurs, Pardo Bazán’s innovation in the genre include a central preoccupation with the subordinate situation of women, reflecting the author’s reformist intention and her nonconforming views of the official moral and social rules. (Taken from: The Feminist Encyclopedia of Spanish Literature: A-M, edited by Janet Perez and Maureen Ihrie, Greenwood Press, 2002). 

In The Drop of Blood, Ignacio Selva, to prove his innocence, becomes an amateur sleuth to solve the murder of a businessman named Francisco Grijalva.

Emilia Pardo Bazán y el relato policial por Concepción Bados Ciria (in Spanish).

23 April World Book and Copyright Day

By celebrating this Day throughout the world, UNESCO seeks to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright.

23 April is a symbolic date for world literature, since 23 April 1616 was the date of death of Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. 23 April is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.

The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia (Spain) where it has become a tradition to give a rose as a gift for each book purchased.

The year 2012 also marks the 80th anniversary of the Index Translationum. This international bibliography of translation provides a unique tool for the monitoring of translation flows in the world. UNESCO will celebrate this anniversary by organizing a debate on this instrument. 

Consequently, UNESCO suggests that the activities organized in conjunction with this year’s World Book and Copyright Day focus on the themes of books and translation.

Taken from UNESCO.Org

The novelist Carme Riera, elected to the RAE

The Majorcan writer Carme Riera was elected yesterday a new member of the Royal Spanish Academy (Real Academia Española, RAE) to occupy the chair “n”, vacant by academic Valentín García Yebra. Storyteller, writer, linguist and university professor, Carme Riera was born on January 12, 1948 in Palma de Mallorca. She studied Philosophy at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), specializing in Spanish Literature of the Golden Age.

It is interesting to note that Carme Riera published last year her first detective fiction novel in Catalan, Natura quasi morta by Edicions 62 (Catalan) and by Alfaguara (Spanish). Available in Kindle.

The blurb reads: In November 2007 Romain Lannuzel, an Erasmus student at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, disappeared without trace. This fact still unsolved, gives rise to this novel, in which Costantinu Iliescu, a Romanian student, also has disappeared mysteriously. His girlfriend and two fellow students report the facts and stir heaven and earth to find him, but both the police and university officials believe Iliescu has left voluntarily. But soon they have to change their minds. The events that take place after the disappearance of the Romanian student show that something terrible, dark and macabre is happening in college.

A police team, headed by Deputy Inspector Manuela Vazquez, began an exhaustive investigation in which the false leads and possible suspects multiply. But, despite their investigations and efforts, they fail to find him. In the minds of teachers, police and students hovers the thick shadow of what appears to be a meticulous and bloodthirsty murderer (my translation).

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