Seville Southside (Poligono sur)

Director: Dominique Abel

(2003. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby stereo. 105 mins.)

Forget the flashy stylings of Joaquin Cortes. This at times surreal semi-documentary reveals the true flamenco which comes from the squalid streets of Seville’s ‘Three Thousand Homes’ estate. Dominique Abel’s film reveals the neighbourhood’s struggling Gypsy population who were forcibly moved into the high-rises thirty years ago from their shanty towns of Triana, across the city. The crowded, poverty-stricken conditions have led to a flowering of Gypsy (Gitano) culture and a wealth of both traditional and ‘new’ flamenco. In between staged scenes of debate over the situation in which these people find themselves, the men and women of the district break into apparently spontaneous song and dance. These sequences of toe-tapping dance and soaring music are exhilarating highlights of a fine and informative film whose performers include Rafael Amador.

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