Programmed by Olivia Cooper Hadjian
In 1992, ten years after Felipe Gonzalez’s labour party victory, Spain appears as a vibrant, modern and civilized country. However, in a south-eastern town, Cartagena, some riots and protests ended in the burning of the regional parliament with Molotov cocktails.
In this film, the archaic video format chosen by Luis López Carrasco, together with the make-up and costumes, take 21st-century bodies back to 1992. This is utopic cinema, one that renders justice to the differences among people whilst reuniting them on the same screen. How do we form a society from the singular experience of each of its members? “The Year of the Discovery” is like an agora, where each citizen has their say, and where contradictory viewpoints can coexist. The use of split screen bears witness to the complexity of such a democratic space: the black line that divides the screen has the power to bring two distant faces closer together, placing them on the same level, yet the place it generates is a purely cinematographic paradox. Failing the capacity to transpose its utopia into the real world, the film offers a fascinating radiographic image of a political situation, through an encounter between generations and perspectives, hence asserting the necessity to confront history repeated with vivid memory.
Olivia Cooper Hadjian
Member of the Cinéma du Réel Selection Committee, critic for Les Cahiers du Cinéma