In 1974, Chávarri wanted to make a short film about a mental hospital but the Spanish authorities wouldn't give him permission. Instead, producer Elias Querejeta suggested he film the family members of famous Falangist poet Leopoldo Panero, who 12 years after his death were "selling the books to survive".
El desencanto comprises a series of interviews, shot in black-and-white over a period of two years, bringing together Panero's widow and three sons. On screen, as they start to evoke the past, a tale of merciless family relationships emerges – a blend of unusual erudition and profound cruelty. With the release of Chávarri's film, the Panero family became a legend and by historical coincidence, the film became a symbol of the fall of the Franco regime and the new democracy – that in its first months was already showing the cracks of disappointment reappearing so strongly in 2017.