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'La Vampira de Barcelona' sheds new light on urban legend

Raval-based film shares the untold story of Enriqueta Martí

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16 January 2020 09:32 PM

by

ACN|Barcelona

The black myth of Enriqueta Martí or, the 'Vampira de Barcelona' (Vampire of Barcelona) has been a hot topic in Barcelona's pop culture for many years.

A woman who was once thought to have been one of the most notorious killers in the history of the city will be the subject of a new film directed by Lluís Danés, filmed in a warehouse in Martorell, northwest of Barcelona.

A Dark History

At the beginning of the 20th century, Enriqueta Martí shocked the country when she was arrested as the kidnapper of a young missing girl, Teresita Guitart. Following her arrest, police claimed to have found a lengthy history of human trafficking and murder in relation to the unsolved disappearances of dozens of children in Barcelona's Raval neighborhood.

Martí was accused of running a brothel for the wealthy classes of Barcelona to participate in pedophilic activity with her alleged victims and was also believed to have created witch-doctor tinctures for her clients with the remains of the children.

Shedding New Light

In recent years, various researchers have found evidence that shows Martí less as a serial killer and more of a mentally unwell victim of a media and police frenzy attempting to cover up a large pedophilia ring. 

Danés draws parallels between the warped story of Martí with modern life — "fake news was born then, not now."

Filling the Role

Nora Navas, the actress who plays the main character, expresses how Martí became a character she "ended up loving." 

A woman whose story has evolved through time, Navas says the role, "makes you want to take advantage [of it], to pay tribute to all the female victims."

Though Danés says that Martí was "not a saint," he is adamant that she ultimately was "a scapegoat," and hopes to reflect what he says is an ever-present power dynamic between the press and the authorities in the work.

Filming concludes this Saturday and is expected for release in the fall of 2020.

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  • Makeup artist and actor on 'La Vampira de Barcelona' film set (by Gemma Aleman)

  • Makeup artist and actor on 'La Vampira de Barcelona' film set (by Gemma Aleman)

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