From the crime of the Urban Police to Puerto Hurraco: the films and series of the Spanish black chronicle

“Spain is no longer red, Spain is no longer blue: Spain now and always is black as bitumen,” they sang. Def With Two. And they were right: recreating the call ‘crime of the Urban Guard’, The body on fire It reminds us of the sordid background of a country where dying or killing for cheating in the mus (or for a cuckolding affair, or for an inheritance, or for the distribution of some properties) has always been an option closer than desirable.

In this way, the series of Netflix starring Úrsula Corberó, Quim Gutiérrez and Pep Tosar bears witness to one of the bloodiest episodes of our black chronicle. But not the only one, not by far: the story of Pedro Rodriguez, the Barcelona police officer murdered by his partner, Rose Pear, and her lover, Albert Lopez, In 2017, he joined that string of crimes that we can describe as “very much ours.”

From the massacres with berets and hoe to other more urban stories, but just as gruesome, cinema and TV have collected many Real cases comparable to those that have inspired The body on fire. Here we offer you a selection.

‘The Trace of Crime’ (series, 1984-2010)

Juan Antonio Bardem (Jarabo, with Sancho Gracia), Pedro Olea (The case of the poisoned women of Valencia) and Imanol Uribe (The crime of the Andalusia express) were some of the filmmakers brought together by the producer Pedro Costa to recreate the most famous murders in the history of Spain in this anthology series. In 2010, The trace of crime returned with three episodes based on the kidnapping of Anabel Segura, the murder of the marquises of Urquijo and the serial killer Joaquín Ferrándiz.

‘The 7th day’ (Carlos Saura, 2007)

The Puerto Hurraco massacre, one of the bloodiest milestones in the Spanish black chronicle, came to cinema from the hands of the director of Breeding ravens and the writer Ray Loriga, the latter acting as screenwriter. Juan Diego, Ana Wagener, Carlos Hipólito and Victoria April They are some of the faces that recreate the succession of revenge and grudges that, when 1990 arrived, ended up leaving nine fatalities in the Extremaduran population.

‘Killing Nani’ (Roberto Bodegas, 1988)

Returned to public light this year for the docuseries Silence pact, the never-solved disappearance of the robber Santiago Corella triggered a notorious process that revealed the extremes of police corruption in Spain in the 1980s. Bodegas, representative of the so-called ‘Third Way’ of Spanish cinema, echoed this story, although the script of Vicente Escriva He fictionalized the facts quite a bit.

‘The strange journey’ (Fernando Fernán Gómez, 1964)

Harassed by censorship and released six years late, this film should have been titled The crime of Mazarrón, since his script (signed by Luis García Berlanga, among others) offered an explanation as cruel as it was hilarious for a case that shocked Spain in 1956: the appearance of the bodies of three brothers on the beach of the Murcian town. Over time, The strange journey It has been hailed as one of the great classics of our cinema.

‘Jarrapellejos’ (Antonio Giménez Rico, 1988)

Eager to escape the shadow of whitebait, Antonio Ferrandis He played a ruthless rural chief in this adaptation of a novel by Felipe Trigo, inspired in turn by the call ‘crime of Don Benito’: the rape and murder of a young woman and her mother that took place in the Extremaduran town in 1902. Juan Diego, José Coronado and a young woman Aitana Sánchez-Gijón They also appeared in the film.

‘The crime of Cuenca’ (Pilar Miró, 1980)

In 1910, the Civil Guard savagely tortured two inhabitants of the town of Vega Bear to extract from them a confession of an alleged murder whose ‘victim’, in reality, had gone to live in the next town. More than six decades later, director Pilar Miró faced a military trial for insulting the armed institute, as well as the banning of the film by decision of the then Minister of Culture, Ricardo de la Cierva.

‘The Wanninkhof Case’ (series, 2008)

Homophobia, parallel trials and sensationalism were the three pillars of the coverage of the young woman’s murder Rocío Wanninkhof in 1999. Although without using the names of some of the people involved, this series exposes that shameful event with Luisa Martin interpreting a transcript of Dolores Vazquez, the woman who was convicted without evidence of the crime. The appearance of another victim (Sonia Carabantes) exposed to english Tony King like the real murderer.

‘Witch, more than a witch’ (F. Fernán Gómez, 1975)

After The strange journey Fernán Gómez had the time to plunge back into our black chronicle… through a musical. To the rhythm of zarzuela (a genre that he detested, but which was very relevant), the actor and director recreated the murder of a Castilian chief at the hands of his nephew and his wife, who, after being discovered, blamed the village healer (Mary Santpere) and his evil eye.

‘The guests’ (Víctor Barrera, 1987)

International gangsterism, marijuana plantations and Lola Flores: These are some elements of this film (based on a novel by Alfonso Grosso) that formulates a hypothetical solution to ‘crime of Los Galindos’, a brutal multiple murder that left five bodies in a Sevillian farmhouse (1975). The real case has never been clarified.

‘As bestas’ (Rodrigo Sorogoyen, 2022)

After immersing himself in political corruption with The kingdom (2018), Sorogoyen and the screenwriter Isabel Pena They recreate a rural crime with the flavor of lacón with turnip greens: the one that claimed the life of Martin Verfondern, Dutchman settled with his wife in rural Galicia, murdered by two of his neighbors in 2018 due to a conflict over the use of communal land. The tape won nine Goya awards, including Best Picture.

‘The body on fire’ (series, 2023)

Although the crimes in our black chronicle seem typical of the driest and/or plateau Spain, this series based on the ‘Crime of the Urban Police’ reminds us that beans are cooked everywhere (or mongetes, in this case). Ursula Corbero and Quim Gutierrez They shine playing the police officer who acted as femme fatale and her partner, co-author of the murder of her ex-husband.

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