This week on the Film at Lincoln Center podcast, we’re featuring an incredibly special talk from the 59th New York Film Festival with Pedro Almodóvar, Penélope Cruz, and Milena Smit on Parallel Mothers, moderated by NYFF Director of Programming Dennis Lim.

In this contemporary melodrama, two women, a generation apart, find themselves inextricably linked by their brief time together in a maternity ward. The circumstances that brought them to the Madrid hospital are quite different—one accidental, the other traumatic—and a secret, hiding the truth of the bond that connects these two, is a powerful story that tackles a deep trauma in Spanish history. Penélope Cruz’s Janis is a uniquely complex, flawed, but ultimately alluring lead character, who finds herself in a morally and emotionally treacherous situation. She’s viewed in contrast with Ana, radiantly portrayed by newcomer Milena Smit, a discovery who brings a palpable innocence, pain, and longing to this interwoven portrait of women and motherhood. These charismatic stars inhabit characters who are singular among those drawn by Almodóvar in a career defined by striking portraits of women.

Parallel Mothers opens in our theaters on December 24, with a sneak preview the night of December 23. Click here for tickets and showtimes.

Watch/listen to the discussion on the film below and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunesSpotify, or Stitcher for more filmmaker conversations.