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Galicia Caníbal

Xavier Villaverde


Disguised as an Os Resentidos music video, this work is not only a search for an autonomous culture, but a critique, constructed from the angle of irony and humour, of the superstitions and politics oficiadas to obtain that identity, as a transcription that complements the lyrics chaotically and ironically.

The storm erupts from a cloudy sky, and, with the music, a little girl looks at the book of The Great Galician Encyclopaedia, which has been turned into the book of cannibal Galicia, beginning with its fiestas, Francoism, its devotion to the saint, and the agreed transition to democracy, up until the appearance of the “Movida”. During the 80s, marked by the entire country’s need to become “modern”, in Vigo, what would later be called the “Galician movida” was taking place: a meeting point for the artists of the city, where people as diverse as Antón Reixa, a poet and musician, and Villaverde, who was experimenting with electronic audiovisuals, would meet up. They were two of the movement’s leaders, who developed the emergence of video in one of Galicia’s periods of most national artistic repercussion, which was also one of the most productive periods for electronic audiovisuals. It was a fruitful decade, which marked the creative birth of what would later become the audiovisual industry.

Communities need a set of common elements such as tradition, ceremonies, town fairs etc., which generate a sense of self-identity, in order to coexist. The socio-cultural landscape of the Galician autonomous region that appears with touches of both politics and anthropology in Cannibal Galicia is the result of an attempt to merge tradition with modernity, where an assortment of people and customs mix in a redefinition of themselves. Without ethnographic intentions, a culture that is strongly structured by Catholicism and its superstitions has been dissected, knocking it down, leading to popular exaltation: the pig slaughter, fashion, rural and old age excitement, the penitents, the night clubs, educational adverts and the negation of the immigrant, showing a polymorphous and contradictory culture that blurs clichés.

All together, what emerges is a portrait of a set of customs and characters, which are located in our immediate past, in a time where we however find familiar faces and our own identity reflected. But at the end of the celebration, of the change and transition to democracy, the hangover shatters this portrait to pieces, after having been consumed and thus ceasing to be exceptional. Even if the superstition dies, the storm remains.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Galicia Caníbal
  • Direction: Xavier Villaverde
  • Production: Xavier Villaverde Asociados. 1987.
  • Team:

    Plot: Antón Reixa y Xavier Villaverde
    Edition: Xavier Villaverde
    Postproduction: Videoreport S.A.
    Song: Galicia Caníbal
    Soundtrack: Os Resentidos
    Lyrics: Antón Reixa

  • Duration: 00:06:43
  • Languages: Galician
  • Original format: U-Matic
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright