Echoes of a Tragedy

Fotograma 1-1

Reality as a theatrical stage, history as a play of masks, ancient legends as metaphors, old echoes of the present. The Argentinian, based in Spain, Lupe Pérez García, who worked on the intimate and collective memory in his first feature, Diario argentino (2006), now addresses contemporary Spain as a country built on oblivion, negation and open wounds through a complex device combining mirrors, representations, lies and subsequent stagings, whether fake or not.

Using as a central axis Antigone’s story, who wanted to bury the body of his brother Polynices, despite the prohibition of the king Creon, who sentenced him to be devoured by vultures, Pérez García staged the dialectic between mourning, piety, death or freedom and life as a complex portrait of a country, Spain, who hasn’t yet decided how to deal with the recent memory of war and death. What makes Pérez García’s film so special, so different from other films dealing with recent Spanish history, is the approach, more poetical than moralist, more intriguing than didactic, more labyrinthian than obvious: the perfect way to build a political film that hides the answers, if they exist, below hundreds of questions. Shifting between fake soldiers staying fake wars, children and brothers playing and fighting, airplane drivers, tourists visiting ancient ruins and a desert and windy landscape inhabited only by vultures and a lonely Antigone, the film becomes, at the end, a distorted mirror on history and memory: the portrait of a shipwreck.

[Gonzalo de Pedro, 12 | 8 | 2014]

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