“My children, my job and the commitment to society and the causes that I consider just have been and are my life”. These words centered the emotional text he wrote Pilar Bardem in November last year to celebrate 30 years of AISGE (Artistas Perpretes, Sociedad de Gestión), the entity that manages in Spain the intellectual property rights of actors, dubbers, dancers and stage directors.
The rights of the artists were only one of the causes that centered the struggle and the commitment of an actress, who died this Saturday and who left her skin in her roles, but also in those responsibilities that she considered unavoidable.
Pilar Bardem never shut up. He carried freedom of expression as a flag and was never intimidated against anything or anyone. If your brother Juan Antonio, affiliated with the Communist Party, he did not do it with his cinema during the dictatorship and against Franco; How was she going to do it?
The Bardem saga always carries activism in its blood and she demonstrated it on the street. Many considered it the scourge of the left against the right, but the actress’s attacks on the Aznar government, mainly, were only one of the struggles in which she fought.
Perhaps it was the most unpleasant, because his words cost him a revenge that lasted for years. It would be necessary to go back to 2003, when José María Aznar put Spain in the Iraq war. Pilar Bardem was one of the most critical and forceful voices against that decision.
He said it in every interview, in every act, and indeed it was she who read the communiqué against “the imperialist power” of the United States. and “their criminal project in defense of their own interests, at the cost of human survival.” Bardem also criticized the Aznar government openly at the time, which he accused of supporting “the most powerful” and reproached its “laziness and clumsiness”. Of course, he called for the resignation of the president.
So he lost a street
Those critics always persecuted to the Spanish cinema, that suffered the revenge of the PP in the form of cuts when the party returned to the Government. There was a decrease in subsidies and a cultural VAT of 21% was established.
Pilar Bardem suffered it in her own flesh. In 2009, the Seville City Council put a street with his name on it. The right was radically opposed, arguing that “its only merit has been to insult not the PP, but many people for their political ideas. And it has no artistic merits or more relationship with Seville than that of having been born here, without any detail being recorded with the city. I do not even want to talk about the winks it has had with the Basque radicalism “, argued the mayor of the PP Vicente Flores placeholder image.
Two years later, when Juan Ignacio Zoido He became mayor of his hometown, one of his first measures was to take away his street. Zoido described the measure as “a dream of several generations who demonstrated their love for the Brotherhood of Santa Genoveva”, and an “example of how the citizen initiative bears fruit”, since signatures were collected for it.
Bardem took that measure with sportsmanship: “If the mayor and the Sevillians want it that way, let them remove it. It is the name of a very beautiful virgin and I am also very virgins. If the mayor and the Sevillians want it that way, let them take the street from me. “
Bardem publicly supported Zapatero, but he hated that they said that he was one of those of “the eyebrow”, in fact, in an act of AISGE in 2010 he said that it was not true, and that whoever said it “I kill him”.
I am ashamed of my country for ignoring the ‘genocide’ in Western Sahara. As a citizen, I demand that the Government and the State do the favor of getting involved in the fight
But his activism went beyond politics and parties. Its causes were social. One of the most involved was in the defense of the Saharawi people, whom he constantly supported in acts and for whom he always criticized the governments of our country.
In 2015, within the framework of the presentation of the XII edition of the Sahara International Film Festival (FiSahara), he claimed to feel “shame” of his country, “of the Spanish Government and of the head of state that we have” for ignoring the “genocide” in Western Sahara. “As a citizen, I demand that the Government and the State do the favor of getting involved in the struggle of the Saharawi people, “she said emphatically.
He was always on the side of women. Of all. One of the most underprivileged, of the battered ones… She was a pioneer in feminist demonstrations and, in recent years, she got excited seeing the rise of the movement, which filled the streets with purple. Shortly before this pandemic, on March 10, in a ceremony of the Union of Actors, he remembered when there were few who were there. “They have been years that I remember that we were very few and alone. Walking little by little we have been advancing. Life is a matter of relays, I will leave and there will be other women who will show us the good to continue advancing,” he recalled.
His commitment was clear because believed in the power of art to change things. He made it clear in that last letter he wrote for the 30th anniversary of AISGE: “Crises, bad rulers, even the most diabolical microorganisms can bend, sooner or later. Art, on the other hand, no. Art is indestructible because it is an inherent part of our nature as living beings. Because men and women need it just as we need oxygen or nutrients. Always keep it in mind so that you never give up ”.