October 21, 2020

Central Madrid, memory of an unfinished story | Blog Doc & Roll


Madrid Central is approved, Madrid Central works, Madrid Central will end with the arrival of José Luis Martínez-Almeida to the mayor of the city, Madrid Central will become Madrid 360, justice annuls Madrid Central due to defects in form, the pandemic paralyzes the future of Madrid Central… Manuela Carmena’s star measure to close a large part of the city center to traffic has become over time a political weapon, often alien to its initial objectives. In the middle of September 2020, still a source of friction even between the mayor of the PP and his partner in power, Deputy Mayor Begoña Villacís (Citizens).

The documentary I do want, shot in 2018 and which can be seen through Amazon Prime Video in various countries around the world, recalls the social movement that, not so long ago, fought against air pollution in the capital. “It seems like a decade has passed, but it has only been a couple of years,” says its director, Richard Zubelzu (Cantabria, 1970) by phone. “In this time many things have happened. Politicians have changed their opinion countless times about the project, but what is interesting is that citizen mobilization that was generated around it, and that made people go out to the streets to defend the environment.

Given the open future of Madrid Central, it continues to plan, years after its creation, the threat of an ecological crisis. Also the possible economic sanctions of the European Union if Spain does not comply with the agreed objectives regarding air quality. Throughout 40 minutes, Zubelzu collects the opinions of neighbors, businessmen, activists and doctors on issues not necessarily linked to sustainability, such as mobility and its close relationship with the quality of life of Madrid residents.

Among those interviewed are Erica Fernández, spokesperson for the cycling association Pedalibre; Adrián Fernández, on behalf of Greenpeace; Hilario Alfaro, the president of Madrid Foro Empresarial, and Marciano Sánchez, of the Federation of Associations for the Defense of Public Health (FADSP).

His words serve as a common thread to portray the conflict between individual freedom and public health that exists in the capital. And that dominates the global conversation in times of masks and coronavirus. I do want, with a script and production by Magda Calabrese, asks the viewer “to what extent is it legitimate to reject a measure like Central Madrid only for ideological and electoral reasons”, comments the director.

It is precisely the political class that is barely represented among the testimonies compiled by Zubelzu. The Cantabrian prefers “to give a voice to the people, to the citizens”, because that of public officials “is already widely collected by the media”, thus preventing the documentary “from being perceived as a simple political speaker”.

Central Madrid, memory of an unfinished tale

A moment of I do want.

The film also recalls some of the strict positions of the current mayor of Madrid and the new national spokesperson for the Popular Party when he was a political opponent of Manuela Carmena. “Now it seems the friendly face of the PP, but not long ago it was not. He came from making a very radical opposition and he has been able to take advantage of the quarantine situation to change his image and his positions ”, says the filmmaker.

Now that the coronavirus crisis has put public health on everyone’s lips, I do want remember that what was longed for not so long ago, cleaning the sky of Madrid of pollution, was not impossible. It began to occur a few weeks after the application of Madrid Central. “And the confinement has consolidated this decrease in emission levels. It would be a shame to lose this great opportunity to do things well, “she defends.

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