The Year of the DiscoveryEl año del descubrimiento
SPAIN / 2020 / Spanish / Color / DCP / 200 min
Director: Luis López Carrasco
Script: Luis López Carrasco, Raúl Liarte
Photography: Sara Gallego
Editing: Sergio Jiménez Barranquero
Sound: Alberto Carlassare, Jorge Alarcón
Producers: Luis Ferrón, Luis López Carrasco, Pedro Palacios, Daniel M. Caneiro, Ricard Sales, David Epiney, Eugenia Mumenthaler
Production Companies: LaCima Producciones, Alina Film
World Sales: Distribución ECAM
In 1992, Spain commemorated the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas by holding both the Barcelona Olympics and the Seville Expo. Behind these rousing national festivities, waves of globalization were causing society to collapse in economic crisis. In Cartagena, the protests turned riotous, leading to the burning of the parliament building there. The film captures a smoky bar in Hi8 video, where the stories of workers who took part in the demonstrations mix with the conversations of young people who struggle to get by in the world of today. Weaving vivid archival footage of the protests into meticulously crafted split-screen compositions—all the while shifting back and forth in time—the film contests the national mythology of progress.
[Director’s Statement] I was born in the city of Murcia, although I have lived in Madrid since I was eighteen. A large part of my childhood was spent visiting my paternal grandparents, who had ended up living in Cartagena for employment reasons. Cartagena is a military port which has rivalled the capital for a thousand years.
When I was seven years old, we spent a day in class colouring a stencil of the recently inaugurated brand new regional parliament. The image of the façade was stamped on my mind while I was colouring it in. This is why I especially remember the day it was burned. At the time I was eleven and, like all of society, I was overcome with enthusiasm for the events of 1992, the year in which Spain was presented as a brand new modern country before the international community. I remember seeing the inauguration of the Olympic Games and feeling part of a future world economic power, as the news readers were saying.
In these last years of crisis, the image of a parliament burning came back to mind now that the Congress of Deputies has been surrounded by fencing and police for months. When I asked my father or mother or my family in Murcia how they experienced the burning of the parliament of our region in the neighbouring city—the city where my grandparents lived—they looked at me questioningly. What was I talking about exactly? What year did I say this happened? Was I sure I did not invent this? For me the burning of the autonomous parliament was the other side of 1992.
Luis López Carrasco (Murcia, Spain, 1981) is a filmmaker and writer. In 2008 he co-founded Los Hijos, an experimental cinema and documentary collective. His work has been shown in numerous international film festivals like Locarno, Rotterdam, Toronto, NYFF Film Society of Lincoln Center, BAFICI, the Viennale and contemporary art centres such as Museo Nacional Reina Sofía, Museo Guggenheim, Centre Georges Pompidou and ICA London. His films include El Sol En El Sol Del Membrillo (2008, co-directed as Los hijos), Los Materiales (2009, co-directed as Los hijos), Circo (2010), El Futuro (2013), Árboles (2013, co-directed as Los hijos), Fuente Grande (2016), and Aliens (2017).