To Begin Again (Begin the Beguine) (Volver a Empezar) (1982): Spain’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar

José Luis Garci directed and co-wrote the melodrama Begin the Beguine (Spanish: Volver a Empezar), starring Antonio Ferrandis.

Narrative Premise:

The story centers on a Spaniard who returns to his homeland after years in exile when he wins the Nobel Prize in literature.

Its original Spanish title is Volver a Empezar, which means Starting Again.

The film won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar–the first Spanish film to do so.

Set in 1981, the tale begins when the famous writer Antonio Albajara (Antonio Ferrandis) arrives at Gijón, his hometown, from Stockholm, where he has just received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

For forty years, Albajara has been a professor of medieval literature at Berkeley. He has alternated his teaching with the literary production that has given him worldwide fame.

In Gijón, Antonio is reunited with Elena, his first and great love, before he was forced to his exile in 1937 Civil War. However, things are not as smooth due to a serious and deadly disease that affects the writer.

Antonio Ferrandis – Antonio Albajara
Encarna Paso – Elena
Agustín González – Gervasio Losada
José Bódalo – Roxu
Marta Fernández Muro – Carolina
Pablo Hoyos – Ernesto


Produced, directed by José Luis Garci
Written by José Luis Garci, Ángel Llorente
Produced by José Luis Garci
Cinematography Manuel Rojas
Edited by Miguel González Sinde
Music by Johann Pachelbel, Cole Porter

Production company: Nickel Odeon
Release date:  March 11, 1982; (Spain)
Running time 87 minutes