Like chinese boxes, this documentary not only brilliantly shows the institucional and political corruption behind the police-orchestrated hoax known as ‘4F’, which began on February 4th, 2006 in Barcelona’s calle Sant Pere Més Baix, but it also extends in a coil the understanding of horror to wider levels of society: from the police, to the judges, to the press, to social services, to the city council, to gentrification, in brief, to power in itself. Like before Joaquim Jordà’s De Nens (2003), now Ciutat Morta leads us from a particular history to the deep and terrifying comprehension of the general, of society, of the city. To the memory of Patricia Heras, the dead poet.
- “4F with names and surnames: a reflection on police, the judiciary, the press and the politicians, during the suffocating silence prior to the broadcasting of ‘Ciutat Morta’“, Jesus Rodríguez in La Directa, 21/1/2015
- “Something stinks in Barcelona“, Argelaga review, 27/1/2015
- Two petitions to sign: for the reopening of the case, and for the resignation of the Judge that seems to have written the verdict before holding the trial.
- Webpage of the movie. It is the same producer of No-res: vida y muerte de un espacio en tres actas, on the demolition of Barcelona’s Colònia Castells neighborhood.
- The mayor of Barcelona presents an award for the directors, but they do not take it: ¿how can they accept it from the same hands that have caused all this story?
Different cities follow one another on the same site and under the same name, writes Italo Calvino, born and dying without knowing one another, without communication among themselves. At time even the names of the inhabitants remain the same, and their voices’ accent, and also the features of the faces; but the gods who live beneath names and above places have gone off without a word and outsiders have settled in their place. It is pointless to ask whether the new gods are better or worse than the old, since there is no connection between them… We recommend you another Italian documentary movie: Edoardo Morabito and Irma Vecchio’s I fantasmi di San Berillo (2013), first prize at Torino Film Festival. The demolition of this old neighbourhood in the centre of Catania (Sicily), in 1958, was the biggest urban evisceration in post-war Italy, linked (as everything in the country) with Vatican’s Società Generale Immobiliare: 30.000 people where displaced towards the peripheries. It was the same year in which brothels were banned: prostitutes were forced to work underground, and what was left of San Berillo turned into one of the biggest “red light districts” of the Mediterranean. So the story of the neighbourhood went on for another half century, until 2001, when a new police operation evicted again prostitutes and transvestites from their houses and streets. Today many plots are still unoccupied, and some became new favelas (see this 2012 video). The documentary shifts visually from past to present, and the images are associated with the fascinating words of writer Goliarda Sapienza, born in San Berillo in 1924.
The speech of the great Manuela Trasobares [more about her] during the protest against the visit of Joseph Ratzinger to Barcelona, on november 7th, 2010, in a video made by our friend Jordi Secall: a political line about the church, the state, history… that reminds us of when, in Barcelona, we had a very clear opinion about these things. [original video in jordi secall’s blog :: reduced version in youtube, subtitled in SPANISH, ENGLISH & ITALIAN!]…