Filmakers' note of intent

As documentary filmmakers, we believe that social commitment is not contrary to cinematic excellence, as can be seen in the works of some of the great directors who inspire our work: José Luis Guerín, Chris Marker, Agnes Varda, Barbara Kopple, etc.

When making our works, it is important to us not only that the theme be relevant to a global community, but that present social phenomena be told through fascinating human stories. In order to make a good documentary film, there must be faces which express emotion, lively conversations, situations which reflect latent truths. In this film we have it all: the story is framed within a topic of great contemporary relevance, fruit of existing inequalities and of dreams for a better life. There are hundreds of debates around the question of illegal immigration, hundreds of essays are written, hundreds of analyses, reports, interviews… But our film attempts to do something different. It approaches the question from an intimate, human perspective. To do this, it makes use of all the necessary resources: powerful personalities, a collective story which is both tragic and thrilling, and a total complicity with the reality being represented thanks to the long period of time devoted to investigation and filming.

It is not difficult to be convinced of the importance of the story told here: the trials of the protagonists of Stranded in the Strait have drawn the attention of media from all over the world, appearing in articles and photographic essays in the press, among which we should cite the main Spanish newspapers El País, El Mundo, ABC, as well as the prestigious Indian magazine Tehelka, which wrote with fascination about this group of immigrants: “the little democracy of the damned that the boys have created on Ceuta, a community that’s part Lord of the Flies, part Robinson Crusoe, and part nightmarish reality TV show”. (From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 6, Issue 36, Dated September 12, 2009) Likewise, the international Indian news program Times Now followed the story for weeks when our protagonists crossed the threshold of one full year in the mountains. The fascination which drew all these media is the same that impels our film: the fascination for the particular history of these boys, for the geographical situation in which it transpires, for the visual bounty which surrounds it.

The Western viewer is accustomed to think of immigrants who arrive from the Third World in cold, distant, statistical terms. With this film we provide the opportunity for viewers to enter into the intimacy of a group of immigrants who have been victims of their own dreams, and whose lives have been put on hold due to them. Moreover, we tell this story with a rhythm which turns the story into an entertaining film, which produces a strong impression both visually and emotionally. Our intention is to overturn the standard television model, in which viewers follow reality shows which traffic in the sordid and the commercial. Here we present real survivors, in a real and emotional film, which will bring the viewer an unfamiliar story and will change his or her perspective forever. 

With the support of:

Ártika Films
Teamwork Elamedia Sonoris
With the support of:
Ayuda a la Movilidad de Creadores Matadero 2009   and