GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Spanish filmmaker Ventura Pons casts light on avant-garde artist Salvador Dali’s love-hate relationship with his sister Anna Maria in his film “Miss Dali,” which opens in Mexico on Tuesday.
“Ever since he was little, he stood out because he truly was a genius,” Pons told EFE regarding his countryman (1904-1989) before the screening of the film at the Guadalajara International Film Festival, which runs until March 16. “What happened is that he believed it.”
The relationship between the Dali siblings was “a tragedy,” which went from a very close relationship during their childhood to not speaking to each other for 40 years, even though they lived in the same small Spanish town of Cadaques.
“It was (a tragedy), because the two siblings cared about each other very much,” said Pons, adding that their 40-year estrangement started due to Salvador’s egocentric nature and continuous betrayals but went on when Gala, who became the painter’s wife, came into the picture.
According to Pons, it was Gala who put up “a barrier,” that prevented the siblings from smoothing over their differences, which started when Salvador spat on their mother’s portrait.
Going against his wife’s wishes, the painter secretly sent Anna Maria gifts through his driver or his friend Antoni Pitxot, who would later become the director of the Dali Theater-Museum, said Pons.
Anna Maria – who was four years younger than Salvador – had been her brother’s muse up until he met Gala, whom he married in 1932.
While the painter grew more and more famous, his sister was jailed and tortured during the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War on charges of being a spy.
“It is a love-hate story,” but it also deals with resentments and ambition, Pons, the director of movies such as “Anita no pierde el tren” (2001) and “Amor idiota” (2005), said.