2007 - 2022

Homage to Catalonia

With the Catalan crisis coming to  a head, a timely film festival in Scotland celebrates Catalan culture. Homage to Catalonia – Scotland’s Catalan Film Festival runs from September 27 to October 6.  As well as feature films, the programme offers a week of poetry, spoken word, parties, gastronomic events, talks and a strong showing of short films. Events will be held at Summerhall, The Scottish Storytelling Centre and CCA Glasgow.

In the middle of the Catalan turmoil, the festival looks particularly at political issues with two basic documentaries to understand Spanish democracy today.  Both directed by prolific politician, avant-garde filmmaker and living legend Pere Portabella. He was elected Senator in Spain’s first democratic elections and participated in the writing of the Spanish Constitution.

The first is General Report II THE NEW ABDUCTION OF EUROPE – in which Pere Portabella follows his masterful 1976 documentary General Report — an epic survey of the Spanish social and political landscape in the wake of Franco — with a sequel that examines contemporary Spain as a microcosm of the economic, political, social, and ecological crises currently affecting Europe. Tickets available here.

The festival will also feature Portabella’s predecessor film General Report on Certain Matters of Interest For a Public Screening (1976), which detailed the struggle within a post-Franco Spain during its transition to democracy. Tickets available here.

The festival is coordinated by Edinburgh-based guerrilla film collective Cinemaattic, and includes participation by artists, film-makers, directors and producers and a host of open post-screen discussions.

Scotland an Catalonia are endlessly compared but have very different cultures, histories and trajectory. There is both contrast and similarity between the British and Spanish states and how they express their authoritarianism.

This is an opportunity to explore these issues and get a better understanding of the complexity of history and contemporary political crisis.


Comments (4)

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  1. Redguantlet says:

    Pere Portabella is one of the great European film-makers and intellectuals in Europe today…

    Don’t miss “General Report on Certain Matters of Interest For a Public Screening”. Most of the footage was shot in clandestine, because Spain was still under the dictatorship…

    It’s a fascinating visual document, and Pere is the only one who I can really think of who captured the death throes of Francoism on film… for that alone we owe him a lot.

    And the film is suddenly so much more relevant today, because Francoism, as we are witnessing, never went away in Spain, and is now back with a vengeance…

    1. Thanks – we’re working with the organisers to bring more coverage and footage of the festival RG

  2. bringiton says:

    What is happening with Catalunya and Scotland exemplifies exactly what is wrong with democracy in the EU.
    Both countries conform 100% with EU laws and it is only their declared intent to seek state representation within the EU that appears to be creating a problem.
    A problem,but for whom?
    The EU,now that England’s Tories are leaving,has an opportunity to get away from the domination imposed by state representatives to something fit for the 21st Century.
    A democratically elected European parliament which has the major say in what happens within Europe,perhaps having to be balanced for some time to avoid domination by larger countries would be a good start.
    Enshrined within that process has to be the principle of subsidiarity which allows local communities to exploit their resources for their benefit provided they act within EU law.
    The present governments in Spain and England completely reject this process and continue to assert that their might is right and that they will define what is democratic and what isn’t.
    Perhaps the calculations in Madrid are that Brexit is occupying the time of the EU institutions and that there is presently no will to confront them.
    However,together with England’s Tories,they have demonstrated their contempt for democratic process and although the former are soon to be non Europeans,Spain isn’t.
    There will be an accounting.
    DiEM25 are making a start at trying to democratise Europe’s institutions and should be supported in this endeavour.

  3. MBC says:

    Agree bring it on. Democracy is a small state solution. A face to face society of approximate peers. The most democratic societies are those that bring decision making closest to the people it affects. Not possible in large states, but small states of 10-15 million and less brings the principle of subsidiarity

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