Sometimes people yearn for "simpler" times and refer the past as a good time to have lived. But as this and other movies show, all time periods have their issues or their problems humans had to endure and to live with. This has a high criminality in the center of the story but also corruption, so it is tough to recognize good and bad sometimes.
Yes gray areas are common and it is not a bad thing to show them. Especially when you show something (even in a heightened film form) that happened. The movie does feel like one of the US films that portrayed that particular time in history and you would be excused if you thought it was about that. Production design is really high and the actors are really good. And it doesn't shy away from violence either - not for the faint hearted and not easy to watch for sure - but very well made
In the hard and convulsive times of Spain in 1921, Aníbal Uriarte, a veteran soldier of the Morocco War reconverted into a cop, is sent by his superior from Spain's capital Madrid to Barcelona (Catalonia, north-east to Spain) in order to locate an important amount of military weaponry stolen from a train, apparently by revolutionary anarchists. On his arrival in the city Uriarte meets Inspector Rediú, a corrupt officer, together with other cops including the violent Tísico and young Beltrán, and El Barón, owner of the famous cabaret Edén where he exploits his dancers, filming adult movies (involving minors and lesbians) only for the eyes of high society. At the same time Salvador Ortiz is the leader of a peaceful riot in an important company of the city, in the fight for workers' rights, while Salvador's daughter, telephone operator Sara, leads her own revolution to defend women's rights. Learning quickly to move in a sea of conspiracy, corruption and treachery, Uriarte makes a deal with El Barón, bypassing Rediú, to work for him as an informer. A little time later he saves Salvador from death during a police assault on the factory property of García Serrano, a rich businessman who is contacted by El Barón in hope that Serrano uses his influence to get him admitted to El Liceo, the most important club in the city, reserved for the richest and most privileged. Therefore, the situation worsens after León, a young worker determined to take arms and lead a bloody revolution in opposition to Salvador's peaceful ways, and Tísico's suspects about the own Uriarte believing him as a danger for Rediú's illegal business. With time running out and General Martínez Anido wanting to make a military invasion in Barcelona to kill the anarchists, Uriarte's only hope to prevent a massacre and a possible coup d'etat in Spain is locate the weapons stolen and expose Rediú's corruption as well as El Barón, contacting Salvador and Sara looking for help. But will can Uriarte survive the enough to save the city and himself of the imminent danger that threatens to kill some thousand people?
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