The list of films that Anna Castillo has pending release includes the new works of Jaime Rosales (‘Wild Sunflowers’), Cesc Gay (‘ Stories not to tell ‘), Marcel Barrena and Dani Rovira enrolled in the NGO Open Arms (‘ Mediterráneo ‘) and a comedy by Paco Caballero (‘ Where two fit ‘). Before that, this 27-year-old from Barcelona, who won the Goya for best new actress for ‘El olivo’, will premiere ‘La vida era eso’, seen at the Malaga Film Festival.
David Martín de los Santos’s marvelous debut feature unites two women in a Belgian hospital room. One emigrated many years ago and started a family there (veteran Petra Martínez, honored in Malaga); the other (Anna Castillo) is alone and has worked as a temp while she dreams of being a photographer. ‘Life was that’ is a sensitive and subtle approach to the roots of emigration and uprooting, which will hit theaters on August 27.
– How did you feel when you gave the festival’s honor award to Petra Martínez?
-A lot of emotion. Petra lives things from such a pleasant and good place … I have the feeling that this award has made her very happy from the tranquility. She got emotional several times and I thought it’s a wonder that cinema has come to Petra and can be making such beautiful characters. Your work is finally recognized.
– What have you learned from her on the set?
–I am struck by the heavy energy it has. It is inexhaustible. She did her plays until film and television came. Petra puts a mirror in front of me and makes me think that in my generation we are a pain in the ass, complainers always burdened by work and with sometimes misplaced ambition. I see her, who has been working all her life, and I discover a dedication and a lightness that surprises me and makes me admire her. Petra gives the right importance to work: we have to do this because we like it and it makes us happy. Because if it doesn’t make you happy, it doesn’t make any sense.
–Detects pessimism among young people.
– I do not know if it is pessimism or rather a bad way to carry the ambition and the ego. I see actors from past generations who continue to work and I detect that wisdom teaches you to place things. Damn, you have to be more grateful to life and be calmer.
– That defeatist attitude will have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
-Yes. And that I have been very lucky. In 2020 many projects stopped me with the confinement. But since I finished the quarantine I started shooting and I have not stopped until now. I ‘ve been very lucky. My whole environment is dedicated to the same thing in front of and behind the cameras. And a lot of fiction is being shot. The pandemic has helped us to realize that we must create quality content. Within everything that has happened, that the movies and series have not stopped is encouraging.
– What difference is there between past generations that emigrated and today’s kids who go abroad to find a life?
-I do not know. Perhaps now they are better prepared with the language and such. But young people have a devastating outlook. My friends who have studied all possible careers and masters, who are super prepared, cannot become independent until they are almost thirty years old.
–’Life was that ‘tangentially touches on the issue of care, which continues to fall on women.
–We women have the condition of caregivers branded in our DNA. At least now we are being aware that we have been awarded a role that we do not want.
-He said that he recorded a video diary with his partner to cope with the confinement.
-It’s curious. During the pandemic I had a terrible time, I suffered a lot of anxiety and fatally managed my motivation, having nothing to do. However, remembering it now, I found a certain balance that served me well. That taught me to get bored, it was very good for me to be at peace with boredom. Quarantine taught me that if you don’t feel like doing fucking yoga, nothing happens. You don’t have to be productive every day. As for the video diary, my girl and I have an old camera, from the 90’s, and we recorded a little thing every day. Someday we will edit the material.
– At 8 years old I was already involved in theater workshops. Do you have the feeling of having lived very fast?
Well, maybe I have lived faster than other people because a lot has happened to me in a few years. I have burned steps in no time. But I have enjoyed it a lot, I do not have the feeling of being run over. I have lost things and I have gained others; While my friends were in college, I was doing a theater tour.
«I didn’t get a girlfriend to show her. If my attitude and transparency make other people feel better in some way, I celebrate. I do not pretend to be a reference to anything »
-On Instagram naturally shows his relationship with Lara Blanco. Do you consider yourself a referent of something?
“No, at least I don’t mean to.” If my attitude and transparency make other people feel better in some way, I celebrate. But I do not pretend to be a reference to anything. The visibility so far has not been something so evident. People need to have examples of things, and it was my turn. But, come on, I didn’t get a girlfriend to show her. I have been very lucky in my education and in my family, I have no prejudices of any kind.
– Are you scared of half a million followers in networks?
“I don’t think so. I do not have it in mind, beyond a certain respect and prudence that I did not have before.
A trip from Belgium to Cabo de Gata in search of the will to live
From a hospital room in Belgium to the salt flats of Cabo de Gata in Almería. It is the unexpected journey that the protagonist of ‘Life was that’ undertakes, a woman who at the end of the journey will find new incentives for a dormant life. The debutant David Martín de los Santos disrupts what seems to be a relationship between two migrant women of different generations when the youngest of them dies shortly after the film. Almost like in ‘Psycho’, we are left without a protagonist. The eldest will try in vain to find her family in Spain to deliver the ashes to her.
‘Life was that’ takes place at a leisurely pace, without music, delivered to a prodigious Petra Martínez, who at the age of 76 won the performance award at the Seville Festival and in fairness should lead the Goya pools . The film does not disdain social analysis, for something it is set during the 15-M riots, which play in the background on television. However, his intention is to take us without raising his voice to the roots of emigration and uprooting. Paradoxically, this mother of a family (married to a tight-knit Ramón Barea) will regain her will to live thanks to the other emigrants who try to make a living in that magical Far West for the camera that is Cabo de Gata, in which a Cuban he erects a Yoruba altar and a biker from an eastern country discovers the benefits of the potato omelette. We all have the possibility of reinventing ourselves, this beautiful film maintains, we just have to be open to the energy that young people overflow and break our prejudices.