The Catalan director extols the value of female identity in her first film, 'Chavalas', which is screened this Wednesday at the Casa de Colón
Carol Rodriguez Colas is
a neighborhood girl. "It is what has marked my identity and I am proud of it," says the film director, who grew up in San Ildefonso, formerly known as 'Satellite City', an enclave of more than 20,000 inhabitants in the Barcelona municipality of Cornellá del Llobregat promoted to house the waves of migrants from Andalusia and Extremadura.
The famous neighborhood where the Estopa grew up and they almost hit each other because of the slit in a skirt while they were working at Seat has changed its peasantry for that of faces and faces from other latitudes, but its essence continues to be that of a melting pot of cultures that is creating and modifying its identity.
That own identity, forged on the margins of traditional Catalan society, defines
'Chavalas', the first feature film directed by Carol Rodríguez, about the story that skilfully outlines the script of her sister Marina, who rescues the anecdotes lived with her friends from the neighborhood to create a fresh story of nostalgia for lost adolescence and search for her own path outside of conventionalisms. The film is presented for the first time in the city, within the cycle
'Cinema snack' at the Casa de Colón, this afternoon, starting at 6:00 p.m., followed by discussion. The event is promoted by the collaboration between the SGAE Foundation and the Canary Islands Audiovisual Cluster.
I don't have the feeling of never having left the neighborhood. There are my friends, my family, we see each other constantly », explains Carol when she is asked about the choice of theme for her first feature film. But the concept of 'return home' did serve to narrate the life process of Marta, the protagonist, who "returns to the home to which she initially does not want to return." This is not the case of Carol, who has always remained linked to the neighborhood since she began her artistic career. «
I have done exhibitions, audiovisuals, short films, video clips... What moved me to do it was the feeling that there has always been a very stereotyped view of neighborhoods and I wanted to show the perspective of a person who has grown up there and all the beauty or not that those places can hold, "he tries to justify the director.
from your neighborhood
This "obsession" to always work from Carol Rodríguez's neighbourhood, together with her sister Marina's desire to develop a story of female friendship inspired by her friends, resulted in the 'Chavalas' project. "It's not exactly our story," Carol clarifies, "but
yes it is inspired by many personal experiences and it is precisely the friends who are inspired by real people and even by ourselves, especially the protagonist».
movie locationsa "these are the streets and squares that we have traveled thousands of times, we know them like the back of our hand," she says.
The story of 'Chavalas' is that of
four friends, but the project itself is basically female, always led by the Rodríguez Colás sisters. “It has happened naturally.
We wanted to explain a story that for us is very common, since it is that of our friends and the support they have given us throughout our lives, ”Carol details. “These are the topics that usually interest us and that is why we are more comfortable working with women.”
The vindictive character is also an element that does not hide. «In Spanish cinematography we did not find many references to films that delved into this subject,
female friendshipwe wanted to tell a love story between friends».
Martha, the protagonist of 'Chavalas', has a contradictory relationship, both with the neighborhood and with herself. Marta is in a vital moment of crisis. She left the neighborhood for the big city to study years ago and now she wants to dedicate herself to the artistic field, specifically photography. «They have made her believe or she has been absorbing the belief that it is not possible to succeed in this elitist artistic field if you are from the neighborhood.
He has survived by wearing a mask and hiding it», explains the director of 'Chavalas'. When she returns to the neighborhood, that mask finally falls, but she no longer feels identified with either of the two worlds.
But, do these barriers between the neighborhood and the big city survive today? "The glass ceiling is still real for neighborhood girls," says Rodríguez Colás, who also believes that being a woman adds another step on the road. "Due to many circumstances,
it is not usual for people from the neighborhood to dedicate themselves, for example, to artistic activitiesyes We have been made to think that it would be more practical to dedicate ourselves to other professional opportunities, that we are going to have more difficulties due to the fact that we do not have a circle of contacts».
However, he believes that the neighborhoods have always been very active in many areas, not only in the cultural aspect. "What happens is that the media or the cinema have not made this movement sufficiently visible," he denounces. «
My neighborhood is very alivethe other protagonists of the film do not perceive the sensation of being trapped in the neighbourhood, they feel part of it”, she concludes.