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Based on the sculptural ensemble of El Valle de los Caídos by Juan de Ávalos, this film essay proposes a critical journey through the territory, accompanied by other works by the sculptor.
This project, which takes its subtitle from the speech Ávalos gave when he entered the Royal Academy of Letters and Arts of Extremadura, is a road movie in which the filmmaker atempts to lift the veil of our present with the help of the poetry of critical consciousness. The result is an initiatory journey through the "brutality in stone" (Alexander Kluge) made on, with, against, of and from the visit to those sculptures that today remain dismal landmarks of national Catholicism.
What are these monuments stranded in the public space today, funereal phantasmagorias... are they shadows of the Dictator, or are they something else?
Digging through the rubble of our most recent past, weaving together layers of past and present. To strip away history with what Alain Resnais and Chris Marker defined in Statues Also Die as "that botany of death that we call culture".
The aim is to leave in the viewer's mind three questions about memory and about the need to know what things we should contemplate when we look at a monument:
Who should be remembered?
What should be remembered?
How should we remember?
Following the iconological lines set out by Reinhart Koselleck in Funerary Monuments and Images of Death, between Art and Politics, this audiovisual essay tackles this subject on the basis of specific poetic readings. The poets are Begoña Abad y Niño de Elche, Antonio Orihuela, Ana Pérez Cañamares, Isabel Pérez Montalbán, David Pielfort and Manuel Vilas.