Ana Rujas (Madrid, 1989) walks through the streets of Carabanchel like one of those tourist guides that fill the centers of any European city: stopping at each historical or picturesque point. But here the story that is told is that of a woman associated with a neighborhood. The one with the grandmother’s portal that she called as a child in one of those matte brick buildings that fill the southern neighborhoods of Madrid (and almost any Spanish city). The one in the bar with a terrazzo floor where the friends, “the most posh among the punks in the neighborhood”, drank the first tercios. That of the local boy scouts where she spent a good part of her childhood due to “a bit of hippie parents.”

Because that’s what Cardo is about, last year’s great audiovisual success in Spain, which today premieres its second season on Atresplayer Premium. Of the feeling of belonging, as a trace, without dramatizing it and with a single shot. «As a creator and actress, your origins and your roots always mark you, you carry it in your DNA and in your blood. What I believe is what I have experienced, but I would not speak of the neighborhood anymore. That’s over now, even though some of what I learned where I grew up will always be involved.”

I would have liked to have a guide in this profession at 18 years old, but my mother did the best she could

Cardo’s story is also an identity crisis, the need to be told of a generation. In this second installment, redemption appears almost as a religious concept, as the key to integration in a hostile world. «We are all María [la protagonista] because we do not always fit in. I guess it’s hard to find your place in life, it happened to me a lot. But that’s what life is all about, finding your place and knowing why you’re here. Being lost for a while in life is good to find the way. If you never get lost, you will not find what is really worthwhile and strengthen it.

On this path, the neighborhood and the figure of his mother return as a totemic lighthouse. «My mother was my guide and she did the best she could, but at the age of 18 I would have liked someone within the profession to shake my hand and accompany me. My path is this and my mother was the first. Then I met incredible people because, if you are awake, those people will always be there if you want to learn something along the way. And, there is also a father. At the time this visit to Carabanchel takes place, the bar chosen for the interview is closed. Rujas calls him and the father works as such and finds another location. As if the adolescent Ana had returned on that call and not the one in her thirties.

It is difficult to know what you want at 18 years old, it seems that you have to be clear about everything very soon. And not

With all this, and without intending to, Ana Rujas and Claudia Costafreda have built one of the most accurate generational portraits of millennials. Without trivializing them or maximizing a punk and transgressive image by addressing sexual, mental or work conflicts that until now few people had explored from their perspective: «Transgression is what Claudia and I brought with us, but there has never been a desire to mess it up. I am not interested in transgressing at all, nor am I interested in going as a punk. That this causes controversy or is uncomfortable is fine with me.

And when this talk ends, Ana Rujas gets lost in the streets again. As if nothing had changed. Not the neighborhood.

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