The Fragile House

Martes, 01/12 · 19:00 · El Almacén

You are probably wondering why a whole section of Muestra de Cine de Lanzarote is devoted exclusively to a single film for the second year running. Well, the reason is the great interest it aroused in our selection committee when we initially wanted to programme it, and also for the great difficulties we came across when trying to get our hands on it, due to its retention in China.

In the Canary Islands, magua is a word to describe the regret one feels after failing to do something that would have been good or positive. Guided by that sense of regret, we created this section with the idea of screening films we thought should have been included in our Official Section in previous years, but which we failed to get for differing reasons. Sometimes, as in this case, due to a governmental ban, and other times due to the peculiar competitiveness that has inexplicably taken over independent cinema worldwide.

Nowadays, many festivals ask for the films they are going to programme to be premieres. That automatically means that it is impossible for other festivals to screen them. In our view, this modus operandi is not suited to this type of cinema; we would even say that it is clearly detrimental. It is a rationale based on a hierarchy among festivals, which is to say, on inequality. A dog-eat-dog situation that ultimately condemns many films to wait patiently until a “big” festival welcomes it—or not—and therefore many spectators never get a chance to see it.

With its Maguas section the Muestra de Cine de Lanzarote wishes to raise awareness about the danger to the serious and rigorous cinema we defend, already under many other threats. That is the reason for our decision, in 2019, to introduce this section, conceived to show films we did not manage to show in previous events and that in all likelihood would otherwise never be seen in Lanzarote.

Prestige, as we understand it, should never be grounded on exclusiveness, but, on the contrary, on inclusion, openness, participation and collaboration. The disjunction is all too clear: we must choose whether we want a model that brings this type of cinema to the largest possible number of spectators or to limit it to a group of privileged individuals.

Maguas was born to provide room for films that are now obsolete in the current situation, which is to say, films that have outlasted the two short years allotted to them by the festival circuit. Our goal is to reaffirm that, if they were necessary when we chose them the first time, they continue being so two or three years later, when they are no longer a novelty but are clearly still alive.