In 1992 – 500 years after the beginning of Spain's global empire with the discovery of America – Spain proudly presented itself to the international community as a modern, developed, dynamic country through the Olympic Games in Barcelona and the Expo in Seville. But for filmmaker Luis López Carrasco (1981, Murcia), 1992 was also the year in which the regional parliament building in Cartagena was razed during furious protests against the threatened closure of various local industries.
El año del descubrimiento revives this almost forgotten history in a typical Spanish bar in Cartagena, where different generations come together to drink, eat, smoke and talk. Stories from witnesses, demonstrators and strikers from back then and discussions among younger café visitors on themes such as class consciousness, the economic crisis and the role of unions percolate to the surface amidst talk of other life issues.
As in his debut El futuro (2013), about a house party on the eve of the parliamentary elections of 1982, in his second feature-length film López Carrasco creates a dialogue between contemporary Spanish reality and a moment from the recent past using the experiences and opinions of ordinary people. The screen, split in two, shows footage of activities and discussions in the local bar, drawing us both into the moment and into the history that has shaped this present. As part of Critics’ Choice, the screening of Sun 26 Jan, 09:45 will be preceded by a video essay from Lucia Salas.