The film

30 Years of Darkness is not a documentary about the Spanish Civil War. It goes further. It tells about the post-war years and in this sense it is not one of those documentaries that approach war. The worst thing about wars is not just their victims, but the consequences that they cause. Like other countries, Spain experienced a period of dictatorship that trampled human rights. While the world saw a country going through a process of modernization, within the homes of the moles the real drama of the loss of freedom was being lived.

Historians have told us that the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939. For the moles the war ended much later, thirty years later, in 1969, when a document published in the Official State Gazette pardoned the alleged crimes they had committed.

30 Years of Darkness tells how war affects families, no matter what side they are on. The characters range from those who were clearly involved politically, to those who felt locked in the midst of a fratricidal struggle they did not understand. 30 Years of Darkness is, above all, a story of survival. In this sense it takes a universal look at a local issue.

The story of the so-called Spanish moles has a parallel with other known confinements caused by repression. The teenager Anne Frank hid with her family for two years in Amsterdam; the soldier Soichi Yokoi spent 28 years in a cave not knowing that World War II was over; the political activist Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, a victim of apartheid; the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released in late 2010 after spending 15 years under house arrest.

The story of the moles remains current.


After the end of the Civil War, Manuel Cortés, a former mayor of the town of Mijas in the province of Malaga, had no chance to escape from Spain. After a long and dangerous journey, he managed to get home at night without being discovered. His wife, Juliana, warned him of the numerous firing squads that were taking place in the village. So, they decided to open a small hole in the wall where Manuel could hide. Manuel Cortés could never have imagined that this small space behind the wall would become his personal prison for 30 years. This is the story of the so-called post-war moles who had to sacrifice an entire lifetime to escape repression.


Manuel CortEs

Socialist Mayor of Mijas in 1936, a few months after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. After the war, Manuel Cortés returns to his home in Mijas and decides to stay concealed in different hiding places from 1939 to 1969, the year of the publication of an amnesty scheme in which all crimes committed during the Civil War are pardoned.

Juan Diego

Born in Bormujos, Seville, Juan Diego is one of the most charismatic actors in Spanish cinema. He has not only worked with the leading directors of Spanish cinema, Carlos Saura, Luis Garcia Berlanga, José Luis Garci and Manuel Gutiérrez Aragon, but has also worked with young filmmakers like Victor Garcia León, Nacho G. Velilla and Paul Berger. Nominated for the Goya Awards of the Spanish Academy of Cinematic Art and Science on 8 occasions, he won the Goya for Best Supporting Actor on two of them: The Dumbfounded King (1991) and Paris, Tombuctú (1999), and Best Leading Actor for Vete de mí (2006), a film that also won the Silver Shell for Best Performance at the San Sebastián Film Festival. The films he has participated in include The Holy Innocents (1984), The Dark Night (1989), The Dumbfounded King (1991), Smoking room (2002), The Seventh Day (2004) and Lope (2010). In television he has also participated in successful series such as Padre coraje and Los hombres de Paco.

Juliana Moreno

Wife of Manuel Cortés, never had anything to do with politics. A woman of character, determined, strong enough to bring up her family in the hard post-war years and to share, with her husband, the great secret of being hidden in your own home.

Ana FernAndez

Sevillian actress who became known internationally through her first starring role in the film Solas (1999), by Benito Zambrano, for which she won the Goya Award for Best Actress. She has been nominated for a Goya on two other occasions: for You're the one (Una historia de entonces) (2000) and Story of a kiss(Historia de un beso) (2002), both directed by José Luis Garci. The films she has participated in include I know who you are (2000), by Patricia Ferreira, To Die in San Hilario (2005), by Laura Mañá, Steps (2005), by Federico Luppi and The Heart of the Earth (2007), by Cuadri Antonio. She recently collaborated in the films Acorralados (2011), by Juan Carlos Desanzo and Los niños salvajes (2011), by Patricia Ferreira, as well as the TV miniseries El ángel de Budapest (2011).

The team

Creative team


After graduating in Audiovisual Communication from Seville University, he studied Business Management and Production. His training continued with the Master in Business Administration from Seville University and the European Master in Audio-visual Management of the Media Business School. In 2002 he founded, together with Manuel H. Martin, the production company La Claqueta, with which he has produced numerous international short films and documentaries produced with Canal Sur Television, RTVE, Canal + and the History Channel. He has presented at the Pitching Forum DocsBarcelona and Docs in Thessaloniki. Currently, apart from his work as executive producer at La Claqueta, he is completing the short documentary Me llamo Olmo.


Graduate in Audiovisual Communication from Seville University, where he met Olmo Figueredo González-Quevedo, and the germination of the La Claqueta production company began. Manuel H. Martin has developed extensive work as a producer and director of advertising and corporate productions, as well as several short films, co-directing El árbol seco  with Olmo Figueredo González-Quevedo (2007), and directing short documentaries Igualdad entre mujeres and Pepe Luis Vázquez. El sabio de San Bernardo, as well as the video for Sin Miedo by the  group Dardem. As a producer he participated in the documentary Ignacio Sanchez Mejias. Más allá del toreo  (2008) and several short films. In 2010 he directed the documentary Bécquer Desconocido and this year he has released the short film El defensor, and has worked as creative director of the animated series Art-poética.

Animation Director

Trained in Audiovisual Media Computer Graphics and advertising, his expertise comes from extensive, self-taught experience. Director of the feature film Mission in Mocland. A super space adventure, the first 3D animated feature film produced in Andalusia. Over the past seven years, he has combined the management of the Seville studio PIZZEL 3D STUDIOS with the management of projects for television such as the animation series Andaluna y Samir, Mocland, Miscelánea and Abby Careful as well as many excursions as a director into the corporate and advertising worlds. More recently he directed El Terrat, the piece that presented the 2011 animation awards at the Goyas ceremony in its 25th year, working with Santiago Segura, Penélope Cruz and Andreu Buenafuente.


Graduate in Audiovisual Communication from Seville University and Master of Film and Television Writing from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He has directed the short films Palomita mía (2005), shortlisted at numerous international festivals, and Cuestión de suerte (2009). For years he has combined his work as a teacher in various film schools in Seville and Barcelona with writing documentaries and television series and programmes. He has made 52 episodes of the animated series Super Abby (2010) currently being broadcast in the Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal. His upcoming projects include the TV film Super Abby saves Xmas, the animated documentary El Último Hereje  and Mundo Estrecho, his first feature film.


One of the young talents of film music in Spain. He has written music for numerous programmes for Canal Sur Television and is the composer of the official theme music for the Latin American Film Festival of Huelva. He combines his work in television with composing for films, and is a regular collaborator with José Luis Garci in films such as You're the one (2001), Historia de un beso (2002) and Sangre de mayo (2008). He has been nominated for a Goya Award on two occasions, for Hotel Danubio (2002), by Antonio Gímenez-Rico and Ninette(2005), by José Luis Garci. With Manuel H. Martin, he worked on the music for the short film El defensor (2011).

Creative Director

Graduate in Fine Arts from Seville University, he has been part of the Pizzel 3D Studios team since its inception. He has participated as creative supervisor on numerous projects for film and television, most notably the first 3D animated feature produced in Andalusia Mission in Mocland, the television series Andaluna y Samir, Mocland, Miscelánea and Abby Careful or the piece of animation created for the 2011 Goyas, giving life to the characters of Santiago Segura, Penelope Cruz and Andreu Buenafuente. His work as an illustrator was selected for inclusion in the first issue of the book of illustrations Ilustradores Andaluces, Cómic y Animación v1 together with Alberto Belmonte, Jesús Merino and Francis Porcel, and published in 2010 by EH Publishing.

Technical team

  • Director Manuel H. Martín
  • Producer Olmo Figueredo González-Quevedo
  • Writter Jorge Laplace
  • Executive Producers Miguel A. Reina, Enrique F. Guzmán,
    Marta Jiménez, Fernando Larrondo
  • Heads of Production José Carmona, Ángel Serrano, Sara Gómez
  • Animation Director Juanma Suárez
  • Creative Director Miguel Serrano
  • Director of Photography Dani Mauri
  • Music Pablo Cervantes
  • Staging & Editing Carlos Herrera
  • Sound Director Juan Cantón
  • Audio Postproduction Fernando Pocostales

The production companies

a Claqueta began in 2002 as a collaboration between Olmo Figueredo González-Quevedo and Manuel H. Martin, two graduates in Audiovisual Communication from Seville University, who combined their love of film and creativity in this business project. They work in the field of advertising and on their own productions. The latter includes the production of short films that have garnered significant national and international impact such as El árbol seco (2007), by Olmo Figueredo González-Quevedo and Manuel H. Martin, Cuestión de suerte (2009), by George Laplace, Tears in the coffee (2009), by Irene Golden and Juan Rivadeneyra and El defensor (2011), by Manuel H. Martin. In the documentary field, productions include Ignacio Sánchez Mejías. Más allá del toreo (2008), by José F. Ortuño and Unknown Bécquer (2010), by Manuel H. Martin, receiving the ASECAN Award for Best Documentary 2010. Among its upcoming productions are the animated series Art-poética (2011), the documentary Niceto Alcalá-Zamora. La tercera España (2011) and the fiction feature film, Distrito Sur.

Pizzel 3D Studios is a company based in Seville, which was created in 2004 as a spin-off from the Forma Animada production company, with which it continues to work on many projects. In November 2008, it released the first 3D animated feature film produced entirely in Andalusia, Mission in Mocland. A super space adventure, achieving great success in over 120 cinemas in Spain. The film has been sold to over 50 countries, including France, Mexico, China, some in the Middle East, Russia, Indonesia, etc. In 2011 it was chosen to produce the animation for the Goyas Gala, with the design and creation of the cartoon characters for Andreu Buenafuente, Santiago Segura and Penelope Cruz. Also in 2011, it completed the animated series of Evita Percances / Abby Careful, for children aged 6 to 9, which already has a presence on public television in Spain, Holland, Belgium and Portugal.

A production company specializing in the production of fiction feature films, documentaries and animations. Irusoin received a Goya Award for best animated feature Crab Island (2001), and two nominations in the same category for Glup (2003) and Supertramps (2004). It has also been nominated for Best New Direction for Aupa Etxebeste! (2005) and for Best Documentary with Lucio (2007). Among its most notable films are Days of August (2006) and 80 egunean (2010), shortlisted at over 50 international festivals. This year it presented its latest production, "Urteberri on, Amona!" (2011) at the San Sebastián Film Festival. Irusoin has the latest in image and sound post-production technology at its two production and post production facilities in Bilbao and San Sebastián.


María de la Peña

Manuel Cortés is the main character in the film. His granddaughter, María de la Peña knew Manuel Cortés during his time in hiding.

Ana María Hidalgo

Daughter of Juan Hidalgo and niece of Manuel Hidalgo. Both brothers remained hidden in various locations between 1939 and 1966.

Ronald Fraser

Author of In hiding: The ordeal of Manuel Cortés, published in 1972. An English historian, an expert on Contemporary Spanish History and author of numerous publications on the Civil War and its aftermath.

Jesús Torbado

Co-author of The Moles, written in collaboration with journalist Manuel Leguineche and published in 1977, it is considered one of the most important chronicles of the history of the moles in Spain.

Encarnación Barranquero

A history lecturer at the UMA (Malaga University) who has spent 25 years studying the aftermath of Franco’s repression in Málaga.

Miguel ángel Valdivia

President of the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory of Jaen, who has been struggling for years to defend the memory of the victims of the Civil War

Juan Gallo

Commissioner for Historical Memory at the Junta de Andalucía.



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