Lobos Sucios (Dirty Wolves) is the story of a time when the Nazis and the Allies waged a strange war deep in Galicia, in northern Spain, during the Second World War. It examines the importance of Wolfram mining (in German wolf=wolf, rham=dirty), starting from the discovery of a body, then uncovering the memory and then, later, a legend.
Roughly translated from the German, Wolf-rham means "Dirty Wolf". Using this play on words, the documental draws you into the intriguing story of the black market trade in wolfram (or tungsten), which took place in the Casaio Mountains in Galicia, northern Spain, during the Second World War. According to the galician film-maker Felipe Rodríguez "with this documental we want to tell a story that was very important, although for many it remains unknown. Also, we would like to emphasise the necessity of knowing your own history, to avoid repeating the same mistakes; to forget hatred and look to the future".
Uncovering a Body
The documental starts with images from the exhumation of a body. They turn out to be the remains of the rebel, Miguel Cardeñas Lozano, who served a 30 year sentence in the Casaio mines penitentiary camp, and was executed in unclear circumstances. The storyline develops with a reconstruction of the steps taken that led to the discovery of the ditch where the body was found (near Soutadoiro, Carballeda in Galicia, northern Spain): the collaboration of specialists, historians, and older residents who remember that time to find the exact location; bringing the grandchildren from Jaén, Andalucia in the south of Spain, with the help of the Association for the Recuperation of Historical Memory, to discover the true story of Miguel Cardeñas.
Uncovering the Memory
"The city of the Germans" is strategically placed in the heart of Ourense, in Peña Trevinca, the highest mountains in Galicia. It was built and run by the Nazis during the Second World War, around the Casaio wolfram mines. Dirty Wolves,examines the stories of the people who worked in the mines, and from the families who went into the mountains to steal the precious and sought-after metal to sell on the black market, while the American and British secret agents tried to stem the flow of wolfram to Germany.
Uncovering a Legend
The prestigious Galician writer Manuel Rivas brings his inimitable style and viewpoint to the story. This third line in the narrative aims to bring together the mysterious and fantastical aspects that surround the mythical figure of the wolf, through images of the animal present in the other two narrative lines (mountains, villages, mines…). At the end of the day, this could easily become another traditional Galician tale.
Isidro Gracía Tato: Doctor in Philosophy and member of the Spanish National Research Council.
Santiago Macías: Vice-President of the Association for the Recuperation of Historical Memory.
Pascual Bayo: Chaplain Colonel to Francisco Franco.
Manuela Valle: woman worker in the German mines.
Eva Abal: Grandchild of Tomás Terrón Mendaña, foreman in the German mines in Casaio.
Miguel Ángel Cardeñas: Grandchild of the andalucian rebel Miguel Cardeñas.