DOC. Spain offers 14 films about the consequences of war and climate change, social movements and the lives of poets

“Traidores”, by Jon Viar
  • This section is dedicated to Spanish documentary films, and it will premiere the new works of directors such as Laura Hojman, Greta Schiller, Miguel Eek and Polo Menárguez

DOC. Spain, a section of the Valladolid International Film Week dedicated exclusively to Spanish documentary films, has selected 14 titles that will compete for the award, endowed with 6,000 euros for the winning film’s director. The chosen titles address issues such as science and the consequences of climate change, social movements and the wounds of war conflicts, the survival of cultural initiatives or the biography of characters such as poets Antonio Machado, Marcos Ana and Tomás Salvador González or composer José Padilla.

Three of the selected documentaries portray the biographies of distinguished personalities. In Antonio Machado. Los días azules (Antonio Machado. The Blue Days), director Laura Hojman revives the memory and work of Antonio Machado on the 80th anniversary of his death. Descubriendo a José Padilla (Discovering José Padilla), directed by Marta Figueras and Susana Guardiola, is a documentary biopic that recovers the unknown story of the composer from Almeria José Padilla, author of songs such as “La violetera”, “Ça c’est Paris” or “Valencia”. Marcos y Vida (Marcos and Vida) is based on the director Marcos Macarro Sender‘s conversations and reflections after reading documents and watching videos of his father, poet Marcos Ana, who spent 23 years in Francoist prisons as a political prisoner. Film critic Juan Carlos Rivas directed El tiempo robado. Tomás Salvador González (Stolen Time. Tomás Salvador González), a tribute to the figure of this poet and writer from Zamora with the testimonies of friends and family members, which will be programmed out of competition.

Science and the consequences of climate change are the guiding thread of three documentaries: En la frontera de lo desconocido (Searching For The Unknown), where Gonzalo Gurrea Ysasi chats with the most prestigious physicists in Spain about capturing the first image of a black hole, including several physicists who participated in the achievement, and inquires into their personal motivations; Éxodo climático (Climate Exodus), by David Baute, tells the tragedy of three women who have lost everything as a result of climate change and are now emigrating to start a new life; and Greta Schiller‘s The Land of Azaba, a cinematic exercise of rigorous observation that explores the theme of ecological restoration, a worldwide movement to turn back the tide of mass extinction and restore the ecological balance of planet Earth.

The social content is present in two documentaries: Perifèria (Outskirts), by Xavi Esteban and Odei A. Etxearte, an urban symphony of the outskirts of a European metropolis such as Barcelona that takes us on a journey through the echoes of Santa Coloma’s past and how its inhabitants transformed the suburbs offered to them by the Franco regime into a dignified city; and Tierra de leche y miel (Land of Milk and Honey), by Gonzalo Recio, Héctor Domínguez-Viguera and Carlos Mora Fuentes, a collective portrait of the displacement and scars of war filmed in Sarajevo, Tbilisi and Greece.

‘Próximamente últimos días’, by Miguel Eek

Culture is present in another two of the selected feature films: Próximamente últimos días (Coming Soon, Last Days), by Miguel Eek, is dedicated to CineCiutat, a pioneering cooperative cinema in Spain that screens auteur films in their original version thanks to the 1,200 members that maintain it but which today hovers between survival and definitive closure; and Spanish Shame, where Polo Menárguez delves into the intimacy and friendship of the theatre group Club Caníbal days before their first performance of the trilogy “Crónicas Ibéricas”.

The section is completed with El niño de fuego (Boy From The Blaze), by Ignacio Acconcia, which portrays the story of Aleixo Paz, a.k.a. ‘El niño de fuego’, who survived a tragic accident that left him with severe burns on 91% of his body; Traidores (Betrayers), in which the director, Jon Viar, tells the story of his father, Iñaki Viar, and his past involvement with terrorist organisation ETA, and how he now rejects nationalism and condemns terrorist violence; and El viaje más largo (The Longest Voyage), by Manuel H. Martín, a look at humanity’s journey into the unknown through the epics of Magellan and Elcano and man’s landing on the moon: two different eras but with a common human and technological challenge.

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