• Jennifer Green

Controversy over Netflix subtitling of Alfonso Cuaron's Spanish-language "Roma" in Spa


The acclaimed film, set in Mexico in the 1970s, was subtitled from Mexican Spanish into Castilian Spanish.

Fans of Alfonso Cuaron's Roma are up in arms over the decision of distributors in Spain to subtitle the Mexican drama from Spanish into, well, Spanish.

Roma, which won the top prize at last year's Venice Film Festival and just picked up Golden Globes for best director and foreign-language film, is almost entirely in Mexican-accented Spanish. But for its release in Spain, both in theaters and on Netflix in the territory, the pic has been subtitled into Castilian Spanish, the version of the language most commonly spoken there.

Many, including the director himself, question the necessity, or the rationale, behind the linguistic adaption.


“I find it very offensive for the Spanish public that Roma has been subtitled into Castilian Spanish,” Cuaron on Tuesday told Spanish news agency Efe. "I think it's very, very ridiculous."

Cuaron compared it to subtitling Spanish films in Mexico: “I don’t need subtitles into Mexican to understand [Spanish director Pedro] Almodovar.”

On Wednesday, Spain’s El Pais newspaper quoted Cuaron from an email stating: “It’s parochial, ignorant and offensive to Spaniards themselves… One of the things I most enjoy is the color and texture of other accents.”

The subtitling controversy has been slowly brewing on Twitter for the last few weeks since the film premiered Dec. 5 on five screens in Spain and Dec. 14 on Netflix, which offers subtitles in “European Spanish."

Read the full story in The Hollywood Reporter.

Netflix removed the Castilian subtitles following the controversy. Follow-up story here.



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