Can you identify as a mother if you’re still a child yourself? Carla has a fraught relationship with her own mother, a single parent who has issues of her own. The 14-year-old rarely turns up at school, preferring to hang out with Efrain, who is also more child than teenager. The pair giggle together over porn, play football, go biking, vandalise property – their boundless energy always finds an outlet. When a social worker discovers Carla is five months pregnant, she sends her to La Maternal, a centre for teenage mothers in Barcelona. Carla meets girls in similar situations and gets help preparing for the baby’s arrival. But the months before and after the birth are an emotional rollercoaster. Female solidarity is a typical theme in Pilar Palomero’s films. Unlike her debut Las niñas, however, she focuses this time on social realism. And on the fierce intensity of actor Carla Quílez (in her screen debut!), who perfectly encapsulates film character Carla’s status between adolescence and early adulthood. She’s also streetwise, like the other girls at the centre, who are played by real young mums and who contribute their own experiences to the story. The film rejects romanticised views of motherhood in the Western world. »He won’t let me live my life«, cries Carla after sleepless nights. Palomero leaves us in no doubt that Carla’s road is a rocky one, while quietly celebrating the family feeling that flourishes at La Maternal.
Pilar Palomero was born in 1980 in Saragossa, where she studied linguistics and worked first as a screenwriter and teacher. In 2013, she attended the Film Factory in Sarajevo and studied film-directing with Béla Tarr. Her short films have been shown at numerous international festivals. Palomero also works as a screenwriter for TV and cinema. Her debut feature film Las niñas was awarded four Goyas, among other prizes. Girls coming of age and rebelling against their environments and society as a whole are key themes in her work. La Maternal is Palomero’s second full-length feature film.
Films byPilar Palomero
Unicorns (Script) 2023 | Venga Juan 2022 | Letters From the End of the World 2021 | Las niñas 2021 | Chaco (Script) 2020 | Horta 2017 | Zimsko sunce 2017 | La noche de todas las cosas 2016 | Noć 2015 | Chan Chan 2012 | Niño balcón 2009 | Sonrisas 2005