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NIGHT FLOWERS

Director: JUAN VINCENTE CORDOBA

SPAIN • 2008 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DOLBY STEREO • 35MM • 120 MIN


An intriguing documentary about the intense history of a working-class barrio in the south of Madrid, Night Flowers is a fine study of both a particular community and the wider history of which it’s a part. Populated with remarkable characters and penetrating anecdotes, the film represents a valuable addition to post-war Spanish oral history and has plenty to say about how to build successful communities.

On the outskirts of Madrid in the 1950s, illegal family homes were built through the night, springing up by daybreak like ‘night flowers’. Housing economic and social migrants, the ramshackle community soon developed a unique identity, and out of these humble beginnings of mud and tin shacks grew El Pozo de Tio Raimundo (Uncle Raymond’s Well), which for years was a byword in Madrid for criminality. Ultimately a political item that’s proud to beat the socialist drum, Night Flowers states unequivocally that the criminality into which the barrio fell in the 1980s was the by-product of poverty and government neglect.

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