Sol Y Sombra – Land of Sun, Land of Shadow
Today there are still two versions of Spain, "Las dos Españas", as the poet Antonio Machado wrote. In the socialist-ruled country, the Vox party has been in parliament since 2019, a far-right group that does not hesitate to chant slogans like "España – una, grande y libre" ("Spain – one, great and free"), which have not been socially acceptable since Franco's death. Not least because of their opposition to Corona measures, they experienced and still experience an uncanny upswing.
Dealing with history also divides the camps. Many prefer not to touch the past, while others are eager to come to terms with it. At the same time, Spain is the country with one of the strongest feminist and queer movements in Europe. Large-scale solidarity initiatives like "Los Indignados" ("the outraged") have their home here.
And so the five films in the guest country series also tell of the light and dark sides of Spanish reality. A woman associatively lets 918 nights in prison pass her by, in the Mallorcan town of Magaluf people live from and with the excesses of tourists, a judicial scandal involving eight young Basque women shakes the nation. We accompany a group of trans women on an unusual trip to the countryside and witness how different men deal with expectations and ideas of masculinity – their own and those of society. Samay Claro and Elena Álvarez Lutz
Spain 2021, Arantza Santesteban, 65 min., original with English subtitles
In 2007, the director is sentenced to prison for her political activism. In the Basque country, this kind of thing is identity-forming, for a lifetime. Details, smells, encounters – time passes her by as if under a magnifying glass. But she doesn't want to be taken in by it. Rather, she wants to know who she really is.
ALTSASU (THAT NIGHT)
Spain 2021, Marc Parramon Bori and Amets Arzallus Antia, 83 min., original with English subtitles
A brawl in the small Basque town of Altsasu is interpreted as a terrorist act, eight young people are sued for life imprisonment. "Hate, death and fear", "They are evil", "Beasts" – the trial is exploited politically and in the media to create sentiment against left-wing groups. A highly explosive film about a judicial scandal.
Spain 2021, Iván Roiz and Álvaro Priante, 72 min., original with English subtitles
In Spain, feminist ideas have captured swathes of society. The machismo that was once so natural is under threat. What is it like to be a man in modern Spanish society? In discussion circles men share their individual experiences with brutal honesty.
MAGALUF GHOST TOWN
Spain 2021, Miguel Angel Blanca, 80 min., original with English subtitles
High season and off season in Magaluf, Mallorca. One million people – Britons for the most part – invade the small town every year. Its inhabitants’ lives are dominated by the ebb and flow of the tides of cheap tourism, between myths and petty crime, dreams and everyday concerns. A morbid, atmospheric look at a local and, at the same time, global phenomenon.
Spain 2021, Adrián Silvestre, 89 min., original with English subtitles
Six friends who are part of a collective for transwomen travel together to the Castilian province. An exciting road trip through the barren mountain landscapes of northern Spain, on which the women learn a lot about each other but also develop rivalries. The journey becomes an exploration of what unites them as a group.
This project has been possible with the support of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E).