The films of José Antonio Nieves-Conde primarily centered on sociopolitical issues in his native Spain. His best known work, Sucros/Furrows (1951), has been hailed both as a masterpiece and as the only true example of Spanish neorealist filmmaking. The film, an unsettling portrait of postwar Madrid, only escaped censorship because José María García Escudero, Spain's Chief of Cinematography, was liberal enough to value the film for its artistic merit. Unlike many of his peers who received formal training in film schools, Nieves-Conde taught himself film theory. Like many other directors, he started out as a film critic, writing reviews for Madrid periodicals and film journals. In the early '40s, Nieves-Conde worked as an assistant to Rafael Gil; he was later assistant director to Julien Duvivier on the Alexander Salkind production Captain Blackjack/Jack el Negro in 1950. Though he escaped the censors with his debut film, Nieves-Conde was not as lucky with his fifth effort, El Inquilino/The Tenant (1957). This time the director's condemnation of Spain's housing crisis met with several major cuts from the censors, with the ending particularly ravaged. Disillusioned, Nieves-Conde then made only lightweight, mainstream films such as Don Lucio y el Hermano Pío (1960), Las Señoritas de Mala Compañía/Those Naughty Girls (1973), and Mas Allá del Deseo/Beyond Desire (1976).
by Sandra Brennan biography