March 25, 2023, 8:49 a.m. Recommendations Evelyn Lark


The 1990s was a transformative decade for Spanish cinema, marked by a surge in creativity and innovation that produced a diverse array of films that continue to resonate with audiences today. This essay will delve into the defining characteristics of 90s' Spanish movies, examining their thematic and stylistic elements, and discussing the impact they have had on the landscape of Spanish film.

The decade saw the emergence of a new generation of Spanish filmmakers, many of whom would go on to become household names in the world of cinema. Among these directors were Pedro Almodóvar, Alejandro Amenábar, and Julio Medem, who brought a fresh and distinctive approach to filmmaking that set their work apart from the Spanish films of previous decades. Their movies often explored complex themes such as identity, sexuality, and the nature of reality, while also incorporating elements of black comedy, surrealism, and melodrama.

One of the most iconic Spanish films of the 90s is Pedro Almodóvar's "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (1988). This film exemplifies Almodóvar's unique style, blending dark humor with a deeply human exploration of love, loss, and the complexities of human relationships. The film's success helped to establish Almodóvar as a leading figure in Spanish cinema and paved the way for a series of critically acclaimed films throughout the 90s, including "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" (1990) and "Live Flesh" (1997).

Alejandro Amenábar's "Open Your Eyes" (1997) is another standout film from the 90s that showcases the director's penchant for psychological thrillers and thought-provoking narratives. This film's exploration of the blurred lines between reality and illusion captivated audiences and critics alike, securing Amenábar's reputation as a visionary filmmaker.

Julio Medem's "Lovers of the Arctic Circle" (1998) is a poignant love story that exemplifies the director's lyrical and poetic approach to storytelling. The film's non-linear narrative and breathtaking visuals create an immersive and emotional experience that continues to resonate with viewers.

90s' Spanish cinema also saw a resurgence of interest in historical dramas, with films like "Belle Époque" (1992) and "The Nameless" (1999) offering unique perspectives on Spain's turbulent past. These films often used history as a backdrop for exploring contemporary social and political issues, connecting the past with the present in a way that resonated with audiences both in Spain and abroad.

In conclusion, the 1990s was a golden age for Spanish cinema, marked by a wave of innovative filmmakers who pushed the boundaries of the medium and explored new thematic territory. Their films continue to captivate audiences today, serving as a testament to the enduring power of Spanish cinema and its ability to challenge, entertain, and inspire viewers across generations.


  1. "Tacones Lejanos" (High Heels) - dir. Pedro Almodovar (1991)
  2. "Jamon, Jamon" (Ham, Ham) - dir. Bigas Luna (1992)
  3. "Tesis" (Thesis) - dir. Alejandro Amenabar (1996)
  4. "Kika" - dir. Pedro Almodovar (1993)
  5. "El día de la Bestia" (The Day of the Beast) - dir. Alex de la Iglesia (1995)
  6. "Historias de Kronen" (Stories from the Kronen) - dir. Montxo Armendariz (1995)
  7. "Nadie hablará de nosotras cuando hayamos muerto!" (Nobody Will Speak of Us When We're Dead) - dir. Agustín Díaz Yanes (1995)
  8. "Abre los Ojos" (Open Your Eyes) - dir. Alejandro Amenabar (1997)
  9. "Martin" (Hache) - dir. Adolfo Aristarain (1997)
  10. "La Buena Estrella" (The Lucky Star) - dir. Ricardo Franco (1997)
  11. "Airbag" - dir. Juanma Bajo Ulloa (1997)
  12. "Perdita Durango" (Dance with the Devil) - dir. Alex de la Iglesia (1998)
  13. "Barrio" - dir. Fernando León de Aranoa (1998)
  14. "Los amantes del circulo polar" (Lovers of the Arctic Circle) - dir. Julio Medem (1998)
  15. "Torrente, El brazo tonto de la Ley" (Torrente, the Dumb Arm of the Law) - dir. Santiago Segura (1998)