Film review: About the Resistance, the story of La Guarimba Film Festival

It is very common nowadays that small cities and towns are left without movie theatres, and those who want to enjoy the act of going to the movies have to drive a long distance to watch a movie on the big screen. The romanticism of watching a movie in a small cinema in a village is almost extinct, those theatres where it was easy to imagine the audience eating sunflower seeds and laughing and crying with old movies as Giuseppe Tornatore showed us in Cinema Paradiso. It seems culture and its meaning is dying, but thankfully, there are people that resists.

This is what happened in Amantea, a small town in the Southern Italian region of Calabria, and this is what Giulio Vita (Italian raised in Venezuela) and his team are fighting for. He founded La Guarimba Film Festival as a metaphor for resistance, to signify that there are still people who believe in the power of cinema and in the effect it can have in the society we live in. A very appropriate name (Guarimba means 'safe place' and a 'guarimbero' is also considered a dreamer who has started the action of becoming his dreams come true, as Giulio beautifully explains), for a festival that will celebrate its second edition from the 7th to the 14th August 2014.

About the Resistance is a short documentary that tells the story behind the origins of La Guarimba Film Festival, a movie that has been shown as a special screening at the 10th edition of Lago Film Festival (a festival that they consider as their cousin). In the film, we see how an old abandoned outdoor cinema is taken back to life to spice up the audience in little Amantea, while all the difficulties to get ahead with the international short film festival are faced courageously by its team (the self-financing, the death of the mayor during the festival, causing the activities to pause for a while for mourning...). Through images and a meaningful voiceover, the guests and attendees at this inspiring festival talk about the importance of film, its usefulness in society and how filmmaking has become an act of resistance.

Somehow, About the Resistance reminds me in spirit of Jonás Trueba's The Wishful Thinkers and of the idea of resistance and doing what you believe in, even if society doesn't believe in you anymore. Let's keep being wishful thinkers and keep practicing little and strong acts of resistance. 

Author: Lucía Ros Serra*

Title: About the Resistance

Director: Pablo Cristóbal and Alicia V. Palacios Thomas

Year: 2013


*Every day Cineuropa Shorts, in collaboration with Nisimazine and Lago Film Fest (18-26 July), offers you film reviews and interviews made in Lago by the brilliant Nisimazine’s team of young journalists.

30 July 2014, by Nisimazine