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Alfonso Zarauza • Director

"People outside are curious about what’s happening in Spain"


- Galician director Alfonso Zarauza releases Aces, previously screened at the Malaga Film Festival and shown at various European festivals

Alfonso Zarauza  • Director

Galician director Alfonso Zarauza releases his second movie, Aces [+see also:
film review
interview: Alfonso Zarauza
film profile
(read review), previously screened at the Malaga Film Festival and shown at various European festivals. In it he illustrates the crisis through the character of a woman (Lola Dueñas) who must survive and feed her baby by working in construction.

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Cineuropa: Your movie deals with the crisis but... how is it different from other films that also tackle this social conflict?
Alfonso Zarauza: The viewpoint is unique in that we see it all through the eyes of a woman who starts working in the building sector, a world dominated by men. It’s an insider’s vision of the crisis: from the point of view of construction workers. The Aces are a gang of labourers who are paid per square metre built: they’re like machines at work, hence the nickname, the Aces. After festivals like Nantes and Brussels, aside from the screening in Malaga, how are our problems perceived outside of Spain? I’ve noticed that in those festivals people are curious to understand what’s going on here and to know how hard the crisis has hit: if people are suffering a lot or not, if it’s less serious than it seems or if it’s more deep-rooted. 

Apart from playing a secondary role in the movie... did Luis Tosar work as producer?
Yes, Luis is the producer, not just of this movie, but also of my other latest film, Encallados. It’s fantastic to have him as actor and producer, because he’s a wonderful person and an outstanding professional.

So what has Alfonso Zarauza been up to since his previous 2008 film, La noche que dejó de llover [+see also:
film profile
Funny enough in 2012 I filmed two movies that I was finishing in 2013 and now in 2014 I have a documentary project almost finished. I’ve been working a lot: I always seem to do the opposite of everyone else; even during these years of crisis I’ve worked more, I really don’t know why, if it’s been by chance or what.

What has the most difficult part of production?
We were very safe with Luis Tosar’s producer, Zircozine, but the crisis hit us full on, like everyone else, and it was more difficult to get a budget together and that kind of slowed down the financing, but in the end we made do, we made the movie in the best possible conditions and we’re happy with the result.

Aces deals critically with the lure of wealth: have we been tricked into dreaming of owning our own homes?
Definitely! Before the crisis, if you didn’t by an apartment, you were considered a big wimp. It started in the family, moving onto your group of friends, to your work environment: it was compulsory to buy a house and to get a mortgage. That’s where the crisis began: believing we were rich and that happiness comes from owning an apartment, whereas it’s probably found elsewhere. People, from 27 years of age, were only focused on the idea of buying an apartment: it was something unique to Spain, I don’t see it happening in other countries. That’s where the root of the housing bubble is, the bubble that burst in our faces and now we have thousands of people evicted from their homes.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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