22 May 2003
Following a preview in Figueres on 22 May, 4 July saw Sílvia Munt’s latest work as director and scriptwriter reach the Catalan cinemas. The documentary Elena Dimitrievna Diakonova Gala is an overview of the life of Gala, Dalí’s wife and muse of Surrealism. The Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation assisted the filming of the report by lending photographic materials and also by allowing access to the Figueres, Púbol and Portlligat museums, which form some of the settings for the film. This collaboration lies within the framework of the activities for Dalí Year 2004.
The documentary portrays this controversial character from her birth in Kazan (Russia), through her stays in Switzerland, Paris and Cadaqués, where she met the young Dalí, down to her death in 1982. We are given an insight into her personality through writings of her own and others by her friend Anastasia Tsvetaieva and her two husbands: first Paul Éluard, and later Salvador Dalí. There are also a number of interviews with people who knew her. Their testimonies help to outline the character of Gala, who was never a matter of indifference for anyone. In the words of the director Sílvia Munt, Gala “was uncompromising, down-to-earth, cultured, a religious believer right up to her death, ambitious, profound, frivolous, esoteric, hedonistic, tough, passionate ... It’s almost essential to know Gala if we are to understand the 20th century”.
With a running-time of 108 minutes, the documentary was produced by Ovideo with the participation of Televisió de Catalunya, Canal + and Televisión Española. In addition to the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, the film also had the collaboration of the Institut Català d’Indústries Culturals (Generalitat de Catalunya).