The Dialogue as a Flag

in 58th Valladolid International Film Festival

by Esteve Soler Miralles

With political, social and cultural crisis in Spain, the spirit of the Valladolid Film Festival is more necessary than ever. The main reason is perfectly clear: the constant evocation of dialogue from ‘la Seminci’. Transforming cleverly the basis of the old festival of religious cinema and human values, festival director Javier Angulo has built an excellent platform on which to present reconciliation and collective understanding. The sections ‘Meeting point’ and ‘Time of history’, the monographic of new Moroccan cinema,as well as the official selection are meaningful proof of this. Some examples; in a very complicated moment between Catalonia and Spain, the festival of Castilla-León decided that a Catalan movie in the original language must be the opening film; and the magnificent We All Want What’s Best for Her (Tots volem el millor per a ella) ratifies the authorial characteristics of the clever director Mar Coll, and that’s just one of the movies to enter a dialogue with. The immigrant conflicts in Marina; the child abuse in Short Term 12 and I’m the Same I’m an Other; the contradictions of the ecological movement in Night Moves; the absurdity of terrorism in Omar; the domestic violence in The Fear (La por); the aggression of capitalism in Metro Manila; the vindication of the mentally handicapped in Matterhorn and Run & Jump; the forgotten old citizens in Tokyo Family (Tokyo Kazoku); the gipsy community in Papusza… Dialogue is everywhere. This subtle attitude in the festival grows while the main soul of the Valladolid Film Festival lies with the identity of the authors. But, let’s face it, the auteur cinema is a synonym for dialogue, for personal speech exposed in front of an audience with the will of an interaction, a cinema that fights against the multiplex projections, that tries to create citizens and not consumers. That’s why that cinema is so fragile, with 21% of taxes in Spain, the independent distributors that are closing and all the radical attitudes created only to produce a shocking silence in the country. The defence of this cinema in this moment in this place with this particular attitude defines ‘la Seminci’ like one of the most excellent, brave, coherent festivals you could find.

La Espiga de Oro, the most important prize in Valladolid, finally was awarded to the Japanese film Tokyo Family, a movie that homages the classic Tokyo Story, by Yasujiro Ozu, and a film that rebuilds a human and necessary message. Like ‘La Seminci’.

Edited by Tara Judah