Mondays in the Sun
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  • Mondays in the Sun
  • 113 minutes  -  Drama
  • Original title: Los lunes al sol
  • Director:Fernando León de Aranoa
  • Language: Spanish
  • Country: Spain

In the north of Spain, many workers are fired from a shipyard. The film explores their lives and their struggle against joblessness.

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REVIEW BY Belén Conde Movie EXPERT
Review posted: 02/12/2013

Directed by Fernando León de Aranoa, Los lunes al sol (Mondays in the Sun) has an exceptional cast and narrates a sad story based on real events. It takes place in the north of Spain, in Vigo, in a pessimistic and cloudy environment. After the closure of several shipyards, a series of massive riots are carried out by the fired workers. We meet several of them and learn of their dramatic situations. Santa (Javier Bardem) is jobless and without a family. He contents himself by flirting with women, since he has a way with words. José (Luis Tosar) feels inferior to his wife because she is the one working, while she feels very distant from him, because they cannot afford to have children with the small wage she earns working in a cannery. Lino (José Ángel Egido) is about to turn fifty and is desperately looking for work, but he is not competent enough because he cannot speak other languages or use computers. He goes from job interview to job interview without success. Finally, Serguei (Serge Riaboukine) is a Russian cosmonaut who ended up in Spain, and Amador (Celso Bugallo), the oldest of the main characters, is the unluckiest one of them all, because his wife has abandoned him and, unable to find a solution, he has taken refuge in drinking. All of these characters meet every evening at Rico's bar (Joaquín Clement), the only ex-worker who found success and opened up a business with his severance pay.

"Los lunes al sol not only talks about what happened in Spain, but also about a situation that can be extrapolated to other countries."

The title Mondays in the Sun refers to having nothing to do during the workweek. It tells the story of what happened in Vigo during industrial restructuring, when many companies moved their operations to Asia and laid off a huge number of middle-aged Spanish workers, who became jobless overnight and had no idea what to do with their lives. It’s inspired by the case of the Naval Gijón shipyards, and is specifically based on the experiences of leftist unionists Cándido González Camero and Juan Manuel Martínez Morala. At the beginning of the movie, there are several images of the Gijón riots, and later, Santa laments the fact that, if all the workers had united instead of taking their economic compensation, they might have done something by fighting together.

Los lunes al sol not only talks about what happened in Spain, but also about a situation that can be extrapolated to other countries. Theoretically, the characters are supposed to speak with a Galician accent, since all of them – except the Russian – are natives of Galicia, the Spanish autonomous community where Vigo is located. However, the only ones who seem to try to imitate the accent are Javier Bardem (whose accent drops out a little from time to time) and Luis Tosar (who is originally from Galicia). The rest more or less follow the neutral Castilian accent. Los lunes al sol earned 9 million Euros at the box office, grabbed 5 Goya awards (the Spanish Oscars), 3 European Cinema Awards, and two ACE Awards, among others. It was also released in other European nations, like France and Italy.