Fifty years after their first kiss, a worldly, urban, out lesbian, and a repressed rural housewife meet by chance. On the first day, each is visiting a comatose man in hospital. Amid confusion and joy, they confront old and new feelings for each other. These women are old and might have been made cute, comical, and sentimental, but the film gives us beautiful, humorous, and real.
We glimpse Maite and Axun as fresh, light-hearted schoolgirls in the past, while their renewed will-they or won’t-they relationship develops against the backdrop of Spain’s Basque country and the city of San Sebastian. The slow unwinding of this romance also reveals the extent to which our lives fill up over time, and how, with age, the space and difference between tragedy and comedy becomes a very fine line.
For 80 days is probably the first Basque language lesbian romance movie, and is showing at many international as well as gay and lesbian film festivals. Some reviewers, however, using words like “furtive” and “frumpy” reveal deep discomfort with life so far from the heterosexual attraction clichés that bind foreign and minority film audiences. Several strong performances in this film help to overcome this relentless resistance to women of age.