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DocsBarcelona back again with a focus on nature, women’s rights and politics

Barcelona’s documentary film festival will screen 41 movies from 26 countries

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14 May 2019 04:04 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

Featuring 41 films from 26 different countries, the 22nd edition of the annual DocsBarcelona festival will take place at cinemas all throughout the city from May 15 to 25. With more than half of the films directed by women, this year the documentary film festival will have a special focus on nature, women’s rights and politics.

Aside from the usual viewings, documentary enthusiasts will also be able to attend various presentations and conferences with many of the directors and sometimes even the film protagonists themselves.

An innovative inaugural feature

‘Aquarela,’ by Viktor Kossakovsky has been selected to be the opening night documentary and will be screened at Aribau Multicines on Wednesday. Unlike most other films, this documentary’s protagonist is neither human nor animal, but a natural element: water.

Kassakovsky takes the viewer on a journey – from Lake Baikal, Russia, to Angel Falls, Venezuela and beyond – where the transformation of water in its many states takes the front stage.

Local issues meet the big screen

As far as the portrayal of local Catalan issues is concerned, there are two films that stand out: ‘Avec un sourire, la révolution,’ by Quebecois filmmaker Alexandre Chartrand, and ‘City for Sale,’ by Barcelonian director Laura Álvarez.

In 2017, Catalonia became an international topic of conversation among political pundits and foreign onlookers alike. Similarly, Chartrand’s documentary is an informed response to that year’s events as it touches upon the Catalan independence referendum and seeks to answer the question of what happened on October 1 with interviews with some of that day’s main protagonists including Carles Puigdemont, Lluís Llach or Jordi Cuixart as well as various other political figures, protesters and activists.

With ‘City for Sale,’ Laura Álvarez takes on another big issue altogether: overtourism and gentrification in Barcelona. In 2018 the city hosted a staggering 30 million visitors and various studies have determined that these figures, coupled with housing speculation, have a negative impact on residents as prices increase and end up kicking them out over time. However, Álvarez tackles the subject from a more human point of view by allowing affected locals to narrate the stories behind these stark statistics.

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  • Still from Viktor Kossakovsky's 2018 documentary 'Aquarela'

  • Still from Viktor Kossakovsky's 2018 documentary 'Aquarela'