Álvaro Gago | Drama

2017 | 21 minutes | Spain

Faced with the challenges of her daily routine, Ramona begins to see the glimmer of a new possibility – the chance to live for herself, for once.


In a bustling Galician fishing village, Ramona's life is a relentless cycle of sacrifice for her daughter's future. Struggling with a distant husband and a tyrannical manager at the cannery where she works, Ramona finds solace only in her bond with her daughter and granddaughter.

But when she loses her job, Ramona is thrust into a desperate search for employment, realizing the harsh reality of her existence in a system that undervalues her worth. Juggling multiple jobs, including leading a colorful crew of working class women, Ramona grapples with financial strain and the advances of a younger co-worker. As pressure mounts, she is forced to confront the limitations of her life. Yet amidst the chaos, she begins to recognize the glimmer of a new possibility – the chance to live for herself, even if just for once.

With powerful performances, Álvaro Gago's emotionally absorbing debut captures the resilience of a woman pushed to her limits, finding the strength to rewrite her own story.


"An intense film, a critical reflection of patriarchal society and, above all, an outcry." - Luis Martínez, El Mundo

"Anguish is transmitted throughout the entire film: the disenchantment with work, suppressed rage that suffocates and qualifies you as "difficult," familial, and personal drama. It's spectacular." - Jose D. Diaz, Escribiendo Cine

"Anyone looking for a plucky, against-the odds storyline told through the eyes of a victim of injustice has come to the wrong place. One of the key virtues of Matria is that Ramona is fallible and self-destructive." - Jonathan Holland, Screen International

"There were a few movies at this year’s Berlinale about middle-aged women figuring out who they are separate to their familial responsibilities, of which “Matria” was both the angriest and the most fun. ...This scrappy little movie is a joy." - Sarah Manvel, Critic's Notebook

Main credits

Gago, Álvaro (film director)
Gago, Álvaro (screenwriter)
Gago, Álvaro (film producer)
Gago Rodríguez, José (film producer)
Gago Rodríguez, Alberto (film producer)
Iglesias Bouzón, Francisca (actor)
Fragua Agra, Pilar (actor)
Chaves Ferro, Eulogia (actor)

Other credits

Cinematography, Lucía C. Pan; editing, Álvaro Gago.

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Sundance Film Festival - Grand Jury Prize for Short Film; Palm Springs International ShortFest; AFI FEST; SEMINCI Valladolid International Film Festival - Best National Short Film; Alcalá de Henares Film Festival ALCINE - Best National Film, Best Actress; IndieLisboa International Independent Film Festival - Best Fiction Short Film; HollyShorts Film Festival - Best International Short Film; Concorto Film Festival - Special Jury Mention

DIRECTOR: Álvaro Gago


YEAR: 2017

GENRE: Drama

LANGUAGE: Galician; Other languages

COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: High School, College, Adult



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