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Mar del Plata Festival: Sacred Spirit

Mar del Plata Festival: Sacred Spirit

Although it came with the antecedent of a special mention in Locarno, one of the revelations of the International Competition of the Mar del Plata Festival that ends this Sunday 28 is Holy spirit, the first feature film by the Spanish Chema García Ibarra, who until now had stood out for his shorts.

“The good thing about having a retarded child is that you don’t have to worry about it being stolen. The bad thing is that he is subnormal ”. This phrase, from the mouth of an adorable girl who speaks in all seriousness in front of her classmates about organ trafficking and satanic rituals, opens the film and prepares us for what is to come: a cocktail of impropriety and black humor, disconcerting in the better sense.

Terraplanism in Elche

Everything takes place in Elche, the city in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula where García Ibarra was born and lives. In this kind of great town, the director has spent years observing his fellow citizens and thus formed a kind of mental selection of the most peculiar people of Elche –such the gentilicio-.

&Quot;Holy Spirit&Quot;, By Chema García Ibarra, Participates In The International Competition Of The Mar Plata Festival.

“Holy Spirit”, by Chema García Ibarra, participates in the International Competition of the Mar Plata Festival.

As he told in the official interview given to the festival, was based on several of them to conceive these characters that seem born from a cross of the antiheroes of Aki Kaurismaki with those of Alex de la Iglesia.

Played by a majority of non-actors with grace and naturalness, these creatures that could also star in a Néstor Frenkel documentary are delirious, but contained: with caustic dialogues and grim faces, they develop their nonsense with small acts and gestures. To achieve the desired tone, García Ibarra only had them read the script once and then urged them to say what they remembered in their own words.

García Ibarra Only Gave His Actors The Script To Read Once And Urged Them To Say What They Remembered In Their Own Words.  Photo Festival

García Ibarra only gave his actors the script to read once and urged them to say what they remembered in their own words. Photo Festival

They form a diverse group of ufologists who are preparing a sighting excursion, but are left orphans of a leader. The responsibility of guiding the group then falls to José Manuel, a bar owner, a fan of ancient Egypt and the son of a psychic retired due to Alzheimer’s. He is just going through a delicate family trance: one of his twin little nieces has disappeared and the whole city is looking for her.

Between laughter and fright

Those are the two narrative lines of a film that oscillates between laughter, mystery and horror. Without exaggerations or falling into crude humor, from the sum of details García Ibarra makes us laugh at religion, esotericism, the media and all the clubs to which we human beings join in search of containment or transcendence . His creatures are as lovable and pitiful as, in some cases, disturbing.

The Poster Of &Quot;Holy Spirit&Quot;, By Chema García Ibarra.  Photo Festival Of Mar Plata.

The poster of “Holy Spirit”, by Chema García Ibarra. Photo Festival of Mar Plata.

Holy spirit It is a journey with an unknown destination. As we celebrate the delusions of this gang of conspiranoids, we are realizing the danger that the ironic consumption of flat Earth can bring and in how many ways ignorance can be exploited for sinister ends. The picture gets darker and darker, until we end up wondering what we were laughing at for an hour and a half.

“Holy spirit”

Section: International Competition

Spain / France / Turkey, 2021. 97 ‘ From: Chema García Ibarra. With: Nacho Fernández, Llum Arques, Joanna Valverde, Rocío Ibáñez.


Reference from clarin