racism 2 Dear friends I want to share with you the next lines, not because I want to believe that with them you can try to change our current society in something, but because I need them to get out of my head as soon as possible, and that with their stealthy but piercing voices they do not continue to scare my naive neurons.

And it is that in the last days I have lived two moments that should be characteristic of another era and not of the 21st century, which if I am not mistaken is the one that we are supposed to be living. I start in chronological order. As you know, for a season now I have been dedicating my efforts to distributing a feature film. In the proposal that we propose to the exhibitors, there is a point on which we are especially proud, and that is that in each cinema in which we open, we want to have a local short filmmaker, in such a way that their short will precede the feature. We believe that, in addition to the great news of returning the short to the big screen, it is an opportunity for a very low-budget production, like this one, to mobilize the public. Well, in one of the calls that I have made and in which I only mentioned the word Valladolid once and it was to illustrate to my interlocutor the box office that had been generated there, the exhibitor, allow me for obvious reasons not to identify the genius , he blurts out to me that in his region they have a legion of filmmakers at the forefront of Spanish cinema, a list that he declaims to me as if they were the Gothic kings, and that therefore they did not need anyone from Valladolid to motivate the spectators. Yes, I can tell you that among the titles that are currently on its billboard there are many great titles and curiously none directed by the list of Gothic filmmakers. The conversation ended at that moment with a “we’ll talk.”

The second moment was this morning, I returned from work and went to the supermarket in my neighborhood to buy a loaf of bread and a few more groceries with the aim of repopulating my anorexic fridge. In front of me, in the box, were, on one side, a grandmother, her daughter and her grandson, and on the other, a young mother with her newborn. I couldn’t believe what was happening, the cashier kept shouting and making a series of gestures that are very unusual for a person who is facing the public. When my turn came, I expected the same reaction, but it was not like that, he treated me correctly, with I can say gently but in a non-aggressive tone and never with contempt. Surprised, I told myself that it had to be because of my smiling countenance, but moments later I realized that the two previous clients had something in common and that is that they were South or Central American… forgive my lack of culture when it came to locating accents.

In both cases, due to the submissive education to which we are accustomed to abide by, I did not know how to react, I could not find words far from insults to communicate my discomfort.

And it is that, what strange difference does a feature film made in Valladolid have with one made in Los Angeles, such that it is perceived as an infection in its own country? Seriously, I have felt pointed out and repelled by the simple fact that The film that I currently represent was shot in Valladolid.

What strange pheromones do South Americans emit to make the cashier of a neighborhood supermarket get upset? Is it so difficult to imagine the permanent tension you have when you are outside your usual environment, knowing that you can be psychologically attacked at any time? Now, isn’t that torment enough?

I don’t want to lecture anyone, but have we already forgotten the effort it takes to leave your town, your city, your country in order to try to find a future? At what point have the human values ​​of a film passed? from being international to belonging to the region where it was filmed and therefore opposed to those of another region?

I imagine that they may seem unconnected topics, but at this moment they are not for me. And it is that I have the feeling that for a few months, or years, we have been more concerned about the risk premium, the macroeconomic data and the closing of the IBEX-35 than about respect for the human being and the development of the person, was born where he was born, lives where he lives, and dies where he dies.

And I am sorry friends to be pessimistic this time, but I think that with “individuals” like these, defenders of nationalism, regionalism, localism and all kinds of isms, it is not difficult to imagine that the “exploits” of Nazi Germany or Francoist Spain, they can be repeated.

I hope that day never comes, and yes, the next time I find myself in a situation like this, I hope I can find the words to at least not let psychological aggression go unpunished.

Thanks friends for listening and sorry if some of the preceding lines are not coherent enough. As J.P. Tailor “Like all dreamers, I mistook disappointment for truth.”

Saturday August 6, 2011

Photograph by E2E4 Media