Even more than films that tell fictional stories, documentaries serve to express and analyze the multi-layered and complex realities of Spain. In Documenta Spain 2006, presented by New York University’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, eight films have been chosen to showcase the social, historical, and political issues of contemporary Spain. The series has been curated by Marta Sanchez from Pragda International. All screenings are free and open to the public and take place at NYU’s King Juan Carlos Center, located at 53 Washington Square South. For further information call 212.998.3650 or visit www.nyu.edu/kjc.
The Documenta series begins on September 12, at 7:15 p.m., with the screening of the film My Grandmother’s House (La casa de mi abuela). The most awarded Spanish documentary in 2005, the film is up for an Academy Award nomination. Filmmaker Adán Allaga will be present to introduce the film and for Q&A after the screening.
A schedule of films follows:
- Sept., 12, 7:15 p.m. La casa de mi abuela (My Grandmother’s House). In Spanish with English subtitles. This documentary looks into the peculiar relationship between an impulsive and irreverent six-year-old and a 75-year-old traditional grandmother.
- Sept. 26, 7:15 p.m. Radiophobia by Julio Soto. Spain/USA/Ukraine. In English/Russian/Ukranian with English subtitles. With astonishing cinematography, this film examines the Chernobyl disaster and its consequences 20 years later. Won the Best Documentary and Best Cinematography awards at ECU European Independent Film Festival, among other awards.
- Oct. 3, 7:15 p.m. El tren de la memoria (Memory Train) by Marta Arribas and Ana Pérez. Spain. In Spanish with English subtitles. During the 1960s 2 million Spaniards left their country driven by the need to earn a living. They went to other European countries illegally. As Spain deals with a new wave of immigrants today, this film tells the stories of Spain’s émigrés.
- Oct. 10, 7:15 p.m. Viente años no es nada (20 Years is Nothing) by Joaquim Jordá. Spain. In Spanish with English subtitles. A story of factory workers at the forefront of labor protests in the 1970s which shifts to 20 years later when Spain has prospered and the workers have knuckled under.
- Oct. 24, 7:15 p.m. Aguaviva by Adriadna Pujol. Spain. In Spanish and Catalan, with English subtitles. A small town, Aguaviva in Teruel was losing population; the mayor put out a call to families willing to emigrate and settle themselves in the town for housing and work. The international campaign was successful. This tells the story.
- Oct. 31, 7:15 p.m. Invierno en Bagdad (Winter in Baghdad) by Javier Corcuera. Spain. In Arabic with English subtitles. Winner of Best Documentary at the L.A. Film Festival, this film allows the political and the personal to integrate in the tragedy of Iraq as it has unfolded since 2003. Filmmaker Corcuera will be present for a Q&A session.
- Nov. 7, 7:15 p.m. Entre el dictador y yo (Between the Dictator and Me) by Juan Barrero, Raúl Cuevas, Guillem López, Mònica Rovira, Sandra Ruesga, and Elia Urquiza. Spain. In Catalan and Spanish with English subtitles. With “When was the first time you heard about Franco?” as a starting point, six young directors from the first generation born into democracy make a film about their own personal recollections.
- Nov. 14, 7:15 p.m. Iberia by Carlos Saura. Spain. Nominated for 3 Spanish Film Academy awards and enjoying standing ovations at the Toronto International Film Festival, this musical is an aesthetic tour de force with a delightful balance of Flamenco, classical music, ballet, and contemporary dance.
This series is presented with the support of the Consulate General of Spain in New York and the collaboration of the International Documentary Association.