Luis López Carrasco engrossed in The Year of the Discovery
- The filmmaker who dazzled audiences with his first solo feature, El futuro, is immersed in the post-production of his sophomore film, which once again calls into question Spain’s official history
With a screenplay by Luis López Carrasco (who is also the film’s director, as well as working as a film teacher at the ECAM) and Raúl Liarte, The Year of the Discovery stars non-professional actors who live in Cartagena and La Unión (Murcia). As was the case in the first film that the director made on his own (he was also part of a collective called Los Hijos), the instant cult hit El futuro [+see also:
film profile] (2013), its loose, fluid genre will teeter between fiction and documentary, blending real images with fictitious ones in order to recreate scenes from the past, and thus highlight and pick apart the contradictions in Spain’s recent history, in addition to shedding light on the roots of the current social, economic and institutional crises.
According to the synopsis provided to Cineuropa by the director/producer, “In 1992, two important events took place in Spain: the Olympic Games in Barcelona and the Universal Exposition of Seville. Ten years after the victory of Felipe González’s Socialist Labour Party, Spain was emerging as a vibrant, modern and civilised country in the eyes of the international community. It was a glorious year that rounded off the "happy eighties", when Spain stopped being that eternally developing, miserable and poor country, and became a future global economic powerhouse. However, in Cartagena, various riots and protests caused by factory closures and the policy of deindustrialisation led to the regional parliament being burned to the ground, after it was hit by a hail of Molotov cocktails. Surprisingly, this event – an event of such symbolic power – has been forgotten or overlooked by most of the population. In addition, The Year of the Discovery ties in with a crucial moment in the construction of the European project (the Maastricht Treaty), the relocation of the industrial infrastructure and the expansion of neoliberalism after the fall of the Eastern Bloc.”
López Carrasco states: “I was born in the city of Murcia, although I’ve lived in Madrid since I was 18 years old. When I was seven, we spent a whole day in class painting a stencil of the recently inaugurated regional parliament: this imposing building represented Murcia’s maturity as an autonomous region, which deserved a Statute of Autonomy. That imposing façade was engraved in my memory as I painted it, and that’s why I remember the day it burned down particularly well.
“During the last few years of the crisis, when I saw the Spanish House of Commons surrounded by police for months on end,” continues the director, “the image of that building burning down came back to me. When I asked my family what their experience was of the fire that engulfed the regional parliament, which was located in the city where my grandparents lived, they looked at me surprised and asked: ‘Just what was I talking about?’ ‘What year did it happen?’ ‘Was I sure I wasn’t making it up?’ For me, that blaze at Murcia’s autonomous parliament represented the flip side of 1992.”
(Translated from Spanish)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.