ANTONIO MACHADO. LOS DÍAS AZULES (Antonio Machado. The Blue Days), by Laura Hojman (Spain)
Documentary feature film that recovers the memory and work of Antonio Machado, on the 80th anniversary of his death. The poet’s life as a symbol of the Spain that was lost: a hymn to the importance of culture for life, for progress and for creating a better society.
DESCUBRIENDO A JOSÉ PADILLA (Discovering José Padilla), by Marta Figueras, Susana Guardiola (Spain / Argentina)
Documentary biopic that salvages the unknown story of a genius, the Spanish composer José Padilla. His works were premiered in Paris during the roaring 1920s and reached unimaginable heights of international popularity for a musician. Gifted with a natural talent for music, he was born in Almería in 1898 and died in 1960 in Madrid after achieving international success with songs like ‘La violetera’, ‘Ça c’est Paris’ or ‘Valencia’. In 1989 UNESCO declared his music of «universal interest», unquestionably part of «the warp and woof of global culture».
EN LA FRONTERA DE LO DESCONOCIDO (Searching for the Unknown), by Gonzalo Gurrea Ysasi (Spain)
On April 10, 2019, one of the most impactful scientific events of the century took place: the first image of a black hole was obtained. A photograph that shook the world as it confirmed Einstein’s theory of relativity. But how does one arrive at such a relevant discovery? Where do great ideas come from? The documentary interviews the most prestigious physicists in Spain, including several who participated in the image’s capture, and investigates their personal motivations in an attempt to answer these fundamental questions.
ÉXODO CLIMÁTICO (Climate Exodus), by David Baute (Spain)
‘Climate Exodus’ narrates the tragedy of three women who have lost everything due to climate change and now emigrate to start a new life. Lobuin struggles every day to find the last water supply so that she can survive in Turkana (Kenya), where it does not rain anymore. Soma lost her crop in Ghoramara (India) due to the sea level change. Soil salinity has made her land barren. Tornadoes and violent hurricanes punish the Saint Martin Island in the Caribbean, where Vanesa has lost her house while her neighbours have lost their lives.
THE LAND OF AZABA (La tierra de Azaba), by Greta Schiller (United States / Spain)
‘The Land of Azaba’ is a closely observed film exploring the theme of ecological restoration, a worldwide movement to turn back the tide of mass extinction and restore planet Earth to ecological balance. The film immerses the viewer in a magical world where humans and wildlife work together to restore the largest remaining tract of wild nature in Western Europe. The survival of many rare and endangered species, including ancient oaks, insects, vultures, aurochs and horses, is at stake.
MARCOS Y VIDA (Marcos and Vida), by Marcos Macarro Sender (Spain)
A son trying to reconnect with his deceased father through the confusing memories of his Alzheimer’s-riddled mother. The conversations and reflections of a son with his mother after reading documents and watching videos about his father, the poet Marcos Ana, serve as a common thread in order to investigate and portray one of the darkest periods in our recent past. Marcos Ana spent 23 years in Franco’s prisons as a political prisoner. In the solitude of his cell, he began to write poems that were smuggled out of jail and travelled the world narrating and denouncing the terrible situation in which thousands of political prisoners lived in Spain.
EL NIÑO DE FUEGO (Boy from the Blaze), by Ignacio Acconcia (Spain)
Aleixo Paz is ‘Boy from the Blaze’: the survivor of a tragic accident that left him with severe burns on 91% of his body. Still, Aleixo struggles every day against the impertinent looks of people and the painful memory of the accident, trying to overcome his fear and anger through words. What is there after defeating death when you no longer expect anything from life?
PERIFÈRIA (Periferia / Outskirts), by Xavi Esteban, Odei A.-Etxearte (Spain)
A city-symphony of the margins of a European metropolis like Barcelona. ‘Outskirts’ takes us on a journey to Santa Coloma through the echoes of its past. Built by the Francoist regime, this suburb was transformed into a dignified city by its own neighbours. The architect who designed with them that transformation was killed in a cruel terrorist attack. His children recount his epic story and, with it, the story of a whole city’s struggle. Those times resound in the streets, squares and faces of today.
PRÓXIMAMENTE ÚLTIMOS DÍAS (Coming Soon, Last Days), by Miguel Eek (Spain)
CineCiutat is a cooperative cinema that shows auteur films in their original version on its four screens thanks to the support of its 1,200 members. Javi, Miguel, Vero, Marco, Marta or Miguel Ángel are some of the people who struggle every day not to let this cinematic oasis dry up. But the great economic difficulties, the team’s exhaustion, the drop in film audiences and the ageing premises force them to face the most complex situation in this film venue’s history. CineCiutat struggles today between surviving or closing down permanently.
SPANISH SHAME, by Polo Menárguez (Spain)
The mayor of a small town in Spain decides to go to the European Parliament so that the tradition of the town’s patron saint celebration is respected: throwing a live goat 50ft from the church bell tower. Juan Alegría, a failed table tennis player, pretends to be disabled during the Paralympics in connivance with Spain’s Table Tennis Federation. Ramón Areces, the founder of the department store group El Corte Inglés, prepares his funeral days before his death so as to ensure that the legacy of his figure is properly portrayed. These three stories make up the trilogy ‘Iberian Chronicles’ by the famous Madrid theater group Club Caníbal. ‘Spanish shame’ delves into the intimacy and friendship of the company days before the first time the three plays were performed together.
EL TIEMPO ROBADO. TOMÁS SALVADOR GONZÁLEZ (Stolen Time. Tomás Salvador González), by Juan Carlos Rivas (Spain)
A tribute to the figure of Tomás Salvador González, a renowned poet and writer from Zamora. A polyphonic portrait of an exceptional human being drawn by the voices of his family and friends. A comprehensive approach to his creative world, to the poetry he produced until hours before his death, to the audacious and original graphic work that he created by recycling press clippings and headlines from the newspaper ‘El País’, which he called ‘poetry to be looked at’, and to his passion for cinema.
TIERRA DE LECHE Y MIEL (Land of Milk and Honey), by Gonzalo Recio, Héctor Domínguez-Viguera, Carlos Mora Fuentes (Spain)
In Sarajevo, Mirsada and her daughter Vanesa survive, after 25 years, in a collective center waiting for a housing solution that never comes. In Tbilisi, 78-year-old Bela struggles every day to recover the bodies of those who disappeared in the wars in Abkhazia. At the same time, as hundreds of displaced persons start to acquire the promised government homes, Dani, Gio and Vika, 11, begin to come to terms with their parting. And, in Greece, Alia and Hussein, who fled the war in Syria, eagerly await the reunion with their daughter Zozan, who is confined in a limbo which it is not easy to get away from. ‘Land of Milk and Honey’ is a collective portrait of displacement and of the scars left by war.
TRAIDORES (Betrayers), by Jon Viar (Spain / Argentina)
When he was just a child, Jon discovered the past of his father, Iñaki Viar, who was involved with the Basque terrorist organisation ETA. Son, grandson and great- grandson of Basque nationalists, Iñaki was arrested in 1969 by Francoist secret police and tried together with Teo Uriarte and Mario Onaindía in the ‘Burgos Trial’. Years later he organized the Segovia prison break and, finally, in 1977, he regained his freedom. Iñaki, like many other prisoners, disowns nationalism and condemns terrorist violence. Jon, a movie buff, tries to understand his father’s past while living amidst attacks, kidnappings and the silence of many. By then, Iñaki is already considered a ‘traitor’ by the nationalist circles.
EL VIAJE MÁS LARGO (The Longest Voyage), by Manuel H. Martín (Spain / Portugal)
500 years ago, Magellan and Elcano embarked on a dangerous maritime adventure. The commercial expedition to find new trade routes ended up becoming the first round-the-world voyage. 50 years ago, humanity reached the Moon. The two trips opened up new horizons for discovery, respectively in our planet and in space. A look at humanity’s journey into the unknown, with a focus on two different eras with a common human and technological challenge.