San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
THE PLAGUE / LA PLAGA
(Neus Ballús, Spain, 2013, 85 min, Spanish and Catalan with English subtitles)
Cast: Maria Ros, Raul Molist, Iurie Timbur, Rosemarie Abella, Maribel Martí.
A vividly shot slice of life set in the distant suburbs of Barcelona, this hopeful film follows five interconnected Spaniards. Raül, a farmer that tries to grow organic food, hires Iurie to help him in the fields. Iurie is a Moldavian wrestling fighter, but in order to earn a living he has to work in whatever it comes. Slowly, their personal histories intertwine with those of three solitary women: Maria, an elder that has to leave the country house where she has always lived to join a retirement home; Rose, a nurse from Philippines who just arrived into the country; and Maribel, a prostitute that has less and less clients. The destinies of all these characters become entwined as the summer goes on. In this film all roles are played by amateur actors using their own names, and it is precisely here, on the border between documentary and fiction, that the film’s magic takes place.
The film had its world premiere at the last edition of the Berlin Film Festival to great acclaimed and it has been featuring at numerous film festivals including Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Malaga and Seattle, accumulating awards worldwide.
About the Directors
Neus Ballús graduated in editing and film-making at Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University in 1999. Her first short films, La Gabl (2004) and The Grandad With the Movie Camera (2005), were documentary portraits of two captivating characters: a transexual living in a traditional based community in Nicaragua; and an old man with a recently discovered passion for making films. Both works received wide acclaim in the international short film festival circuit. Then she moved on to a radically original way of filming with Immersion (2009), a documentary shot entirely underwater in a public swimming-pool. The film received the ALCINE’s Best Movie award (one of the most prestigious Spanish short film prizes, rarely awarded to documentaries). Ballus combines her job as director with editing for other filmmakers. The Plague, presented at Berlinale Forum 2013, is her first feature length film.
Suggested donation $10. All proceeds will go toward GALA's community and youth programs.
When & Where
GALA Hispanic Theatre
GALA (Grupo de Artistas Latinoamericanos) Hispanic Theatre is a National Center for Latino Performing Arts in the nation's capital. Since 1976, GALA has been promoting and sharing the Latino arts and cultures with a diverse audience, creating work that speaks to communities today, and preserving the rich Hispanic heritage for generations that follow. By developing and producing works that explore the breadth of Latino performing arts, GALA provides opportunities for the Latino artist, educates youth, and engages the entire community in an exchange of ideas and perspectives.