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What Have I Done to Deserve This?

Wed Aug 16, 2017
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
An “ordinary” housewife navigates the usual working-class suburban life of deadbeat husbands, mad mothers-in-law, sex-worker neighbors, and child pandering in Almodóvar’s taboo-smashing send-up of the social realist drama, redone as crazed, John Waters–like comedy. Whether crushing her husband’s head with a ham bone, selling her youngest son to a dentist, or “helping out” the kindly dominatrix next door, Gloria (Carmen Maura) may not be a typical maternal figure, but it’s all she can do to survive. One of the eighties’ biggest cult hits, What Have I Done is “an absolutely wonderful black comedy” (New York Times).