SAN SEBASTIAN, September 21 (EFE).- The Portuguese director Marco Martins presented this Wednesday at the San Sebastian Festival “Great Yarmouth-Provisional Figures”, a play that combines emigration and impossible ambition with which he entered the Golden Competition. Shell.
Set in the English town that gives it its title, Martins has created a grimy and suffocating atmosphere in which its characters, Portuguese immigrants driven from their country by the crisis, seem to live in their worst nightmares.
The film takes place three months before Brexit and stars Tania, a Portuguese woman married to an Englishman whose project is to renovate some abandoned and unsanitary hotels owned by her husband into retirement homes.
At this point, he uses them to rent them out to his compatriots, whom he helps find work in a turkey slaughterhouse where their meat is also processed.
There is also violence in this dark story, born of despair. “No one is born violent, they become violent out of frustration, transformed by the system,” the film’s director said at a press conference, accompanied by a portion of his team, including one of the lead actors. By Beatriz Batarda.
The script is based on the story of the Portuguese who live in Great Yarmouth, a town that used to be a seaside resort and has many supporters of Brexit.
10,000 Portuguese live there and the director was invited there in 2017 by a theater association of factory workers who wanted to stage a play about their experiences, the terrible conditions they worked in and a town like Great Yarmouth where the English call people. His “pork and cheese” country.
“With the crisis, there were no more jobs in Portugal and in 2009 many people emigrated in search of work and because of this they accepted pre-industrial conditions, people working 16 hours a day, with toxic products and without insurance, without any protection”, the director explained, who began his career as an assistant director to Wim Wenders, Pedro Costa, Manuel de Oliveira and Bertrand Tavernier.
In a co-production in Portugal, France and the United Kingdom, Martin took the story to the cinema, convinced of the value of art to change things and also create familiar stories that, according to him, many people do not know and his set concerns Europe.
In addition to being a professional actor, he also involved in the film factory and theater association workers, who live like ghosts in a town that is also a ghost, where some of those who arrived in 2009 settled. The situation worsened after Brexit.
A place where one of the actors, Nuno Lopes, was told by a taxi driver “Welcome to the circus”, when he replied that he was Portuguese and that he had not come to be a tourist, but to work.