Catalan Review

EL NOU DOCUMENTAL TRANSGENÈRIC CATALÀ: LA PLAGA (2013) DE NEUS BALLÚS

Catalan Review (2017), 31, (1), 135–148.

Abstract

This essay considers La Plaga (2013), the documentary film directed by Neus Ballús which was awarded the Gaudí Prize for Best Film by the Catalan Motion Picture Academy in 2014. The film is studied in the context of the current upsurge of creative documentary films in Catalonia. This study emphasizes the transgressive gender representation in a film that offers a model of genre/gender bending that expands the limits of the family metaphor and its public/private boundaries. The essay also considers La Plaga as a special critique of one of Catalonia’s official master narratives, the one that presents a country based on an urban space devoid of historical markers of past and present conflict. By focsusing on Gallecs, the small piece of land that symbolizes the limits of urbanism and urbanity, the film becomes an allegorical vision of Catalonia’s cultural and geopolitical situation as a place without history, or, better put, as a place “in-between” cultures that seems to have forgotten its roots and its true history.

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MARTÍ-OLIVELLA, JAUME