Catalan film director Neus Ballús presents ‘La Plaga’ at the Berlin International Film Festival
The 63rd International Film Festival in Berlin is taking place at the moment through to the 17th of February. This year a film made by Catalan production company El Kinògraf is on show: ‘La Plaga’ (‘The Plague’ in English), a film shot by Neus Ballús, had its world premiere in Berlin. It is a combination of reality and fiction, presenting five different characters living around Barcelona at the time of the economic crisis. Ballús explains that the film is based on true life stories, real emotions, situations and genuine characters.
Barcelona (CNA)- The Berlinale is taking place in the German capital from the 7th to the 17th of February. Many international filmmakers, producers, actors and film buffs meet there to present their works. Nearly 300,000 tickets sold, almost 20,000 specialists from 130 countries, including 4,000 journalists are in Berlin right now. In the thick of the action we can find the Catalan filmmaker Neus Ballús and the Catalan production company El Kinográf, who are participating this year with their film \u2018La Plaga\u2019 (\u2018The Plague\u2019 in English). The film is being shown at the Berlinale in the Forum section. It is a combination of reality and fiction, presenting five different characters living around Barcelona at the time of the economic crisis. \u2018La Plaga\u2019 had its world premiere last Friday.
El Kinògraf and Neus Ballús
El Kinògraf is a production company founded in Barcelona in 2005 that produces documentary films, television programs, video installations and audiovisual exhibitions. Neus Ballús is one of the team at El Kinògraf and is a specialist in documentary films. La Plaga allows Ballús to show off her qualities of as a documentary filmmaker in this respect.
The film \u2018La Plaga\u2019
The film is a combination of fiction and reality, which deals with the impact of the economic crisis. \u2018La Plaga\u2019 tells the story of five different characters living in the suburban area of Barcelona that are all hit by the consequences of the economic crisis. For more than four years Ballús worked together with these characters with the aim of showing their fight for survival in times of economic depression. For that reason, she has painted a portrait of the lives of five people living on the outskirts of a city, fields, streets or industrial parks. The movie tells the story of five apparently independent people, who end up connected to each other. Iurie, a Moldavian wrestler, works for the farmer Raül, who has big crop failures because of a plague of insects. The third is his neighbour Maria, who has to move to a retirement home, because of health problems. There she gets to know the Filipino elderly care nurse Rosemarie, who walks a cart-track every day to come to work where she always passes Maribel on a beach chair. Maribel tries to earn her living as a prostitute so she and her unemployed son can get by.
Ballús explains that the film is based on true life stories, real emotions, situations and genuine characters. However nevertheless the director points out that \u201CLa Plaga is more of a composition than truth. The word documentary has high brow connotations, but it means not being manipulated or constructed. But for me everything in a film is constructed and manipulated, so it is more a film than a documentary.\u201D Ballús\u2019 movie wants to reflect the current critical situation in Catalonia, Spain and Europe. \u201CWe are all living in a situation of uncertainty about the future, a feeling of being lost in the system and excluded by politicians.\u201D The film shows the difficult and unfortunate situation of five different people, but despite life\u2019s hardships how they can handle their daily life and this is a big strength. That\u2019s why Ballús wanted to present her story in this film, because these characters are real heroes of everyday life.