DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT: I lived in Spain for some time and still make frequent trips to that country. I have great sympathy for the people and fondness for the culture. Seeing that the ill effects of the 2008 economic crisis continued on, and on, and on in Spain has been very distressing although I have also noticed that people there seem to be emotionally better equiped to handle life's difficult times than many of us in the United States. I created this drama in sympathy with the ordinary person in Spain, and to celebrate his/her resiliance.
DIRECTOR BIO: Ma's work has screened and been in festivals on four continents in eight countries (USA, France, Germany, Spain, Greece, India, Indonesia and Peru). She produces and directs in both English and Spanish, and has made documentaries, dramas, and experimental shorts.
Antonio de la Malena, star of this documentary, is a flamenco singer (cantaor) by profession. He has spent his life in front of the public so it was a small step to persuade him to place himself in front of a camera.
The story that we've told in this movie was so close to real life in Spain at that time that de la Malena had no trouble putting himself in character. The one twist was that, as a professional performer, he always wanted to look his best - but since Luis, the character that he was playing, was (as imagined by the script) someone who formerly worked in a creative profession and who didn't want his family and friends to know that he was down on his luck, de la Malena's dress preferences actually worked to our benefit.
The result has been an extremely believable performance, a sensitive portrait of a family man in a country where men often still support their families alone, who due to forces beyond his control now finds himself unable to do so.
Nicolás Montoya is an experienced actor who has played parts in film productions, television series, and live theater. Acting is his avocation; by training a medical doctor, he spends his time going between his medical clinic, and acting jobs in both Madrid and Jerez de la Frontera, his home town where we filmed this movie.
In his work as a movie actor, Montoya has had several principal roles in Spanish films, including Salvaje niño perro and Espiral. He can also be seen in La Lola se va a los puertos and more recently, in Techo y comida (Food and Shelter) directed by Juan Miguel del Castillo. He has also had parts in over a dozen plays, in several television series, and has even held roles in operatic productions..
For Domino, he plays the bad guy - the banker who pressed a loan on hero Luis before the economic crisis, but then (naturally) fails to lend him money to get him out of his current situation. But Luis is not entirely blameless: he was in fact willing to take that loan even though it meant mortgaging his house to the limit. And our bad banker has financial problems of his own, problems brought about by the same willingness to over-extend himself and his bank when money and credit were easy to come by.
Luis de la Tota plays the part of Luis' best friend. Like Antonio de la Malena, this is his first time acting although he has spent his life on stage in flamenco productions, and has also appeared in several documentaries.
A native of southern Spain's Jerez de la Frontera, de la Tota later moved to the United States but he still keeps up his ties to his native land with extended, yearly visits. In the United States, he lives in Colorado where he teaches in his own academy and performs all over the country, mostly especially in California.
Javier Padilla Gil plays the part of the drunk at the end of the drama, as well as the part of Luis' friend who is unable to offer Luis a job. As Montoya, he is an experienced actor, principally in live stage productions although he has also appeared in films such as the prize-winning Spanish film Pan y Techo. In addition, Padilla is a playwright formerly associated with the theatrical group, "Tras el Trapo," in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, for which he also lent his hand as all-around crew member for plays that he co-wrote and co-produced.
As an actor, he is best known for his work in dramas and in children's theater. As co-producer at "Tras el Trapo," he also organized a film cycle which among other things put on an annual festival of Romanian film. Furthermore, he has acted as assistant producer for various large flamenco productions.
Padilla originally planned to teach and has a degree in mathematics. Due to the covid crisis, he is returning to teaching, this time as a general teacher in grammar school but he maintains his love of theater work and hopes to return to it some day.
Salvador Valle plays another friend, a neighbor who offers our star some work. Valle has also in the past been part of the theater group Tras el Trapo. He also dances Argentine tango as a professional.
Like many other of the actors in Dominó, he had a part in the film La Lola se va a los puertos (Lola goes to the sea) as well as in the prize-winning Pan y techo (Bread and a Roof)....
The musical score in our film consists of original compositions performed by guitarist Malena Hijo, along with his improvisations and adaptations of traditional flamenco forms. The son of star Antonio de la Malena, as a professional guitarist he often accompanies his father and his uncle, Manuel de Malena, another flamenco singer.
In addition, he plays for other flamencos and is frequently asked to be the sole guitarist or the lead guitarist in flamenco fusion groups in his home town of Jerez de la Frontera.
Malena Hijo's music takes him to Japan on an annual basis, where he plays for flamenco performers in that country. He also tours (along with his father) with the company María del Mar Moreno. He is one of the guitarists on his father's double album of flamenco, Para ti mi cante..., and often performs in annual Ferias in both Jerez and Sevilla.