Shown in Compétition #3.
Walking through the ruined streets and houses of Belchite and Corbera d’Ebre is like revisiting the summer of 1937 and 1938, when German aviation and Franco’s artillery devastated the towns. Today the old towns are a silent witness to the violence and the brutal consequences of Spanish Civil War.
Text from the selection committee
The device is simple and the message is powerful. Juana Robles uses super 8 black and white film and films a city in ruins. Curly sounds of bombing can be heard, and voices are raised. It is a pictorial film that bears witness to a new time, a timeless memory.
Translation made by the translator www.DeepL.com/Translator
What is the starting point for your film?
I have a great fascination for places where the time seems to stand still. For example, ruins, abandoned places or homes of people with Diogenes syndrome. I document them out of an impulse. In this case this ruins make an old wound visible, that we see reopening in the actual political and cultural conflicts within the Catalonian Independency movement. The old town of Corbera d’Ebre is at a distance of 3 km from my family home in Gandesa. The region around the Ebre was a crucial resistance point during the Spanish Civil War. It’s part of my family history.
But the film wasn’t planned. This day I had my Super 8 camera with me. I experienced and captured this place looking through the camera. I had only little time, that made the experience very intense and surreal. And, of course, also the edit along with the choice of the sound and title made it become this specific film.
Through the motif of ruin, your film proposes a discourse on time. Why did you think the use of film seemed relevant to you in order to put this discourse into images?
The film was shot with a Super 8 Camera on black and white reversal films. I always use film for my projects. It’s because of its material’s visual richness and exceptional properties. I believe it captures and revels any subject more beautiful and intensely than any digital medium can. The filming process feels to me more like handwriting, while I would compare digital filming more to typewriting. I think digital film is not only a technological development of analogue film. Personally, I see it as a different, new, cheaper and faster medium.
How long did it take to make your Y Un Gato De Porcelana ?
I filmed for an hour and a half. Developing the film and digitising it took about three months. Finally, editing only took one or two days. I have a painting background and specially like the philosophy of Zen art where a draft doesn’t get a different value from a laborious oil painting. The name sketch or its concept doesn’t even exist. One is a painting done in 5 minutes and the other made in 180 hours. Every stroke is precious and is done in a concentrated way. It can take a lifetime to draw a perfect circle in four seconds.