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El Perro Negro

Stories from the Spanish Civil War

“…'s more the story of a crime
than the fight for a better and more fair world".

“ mas la historia de un crimen
que la lucha por un mundo mas justo y mejor".

Salud! Ricardo

El perro negro takes a clichés braking view of the Spanish Civil War trough a mesmerizing found footage collage. The saga begins in 1929 with the talented amateur filmmaker, Joan Salvans, son of a wealthy Catalan industrialist, of Terrassa. The Salvans were the object of admiration as one of the most successful wool manufacturer of Catalonia, but also of hatred by the emerging anarchists and socialist trade unionists. On 24 July 1936, six days after the Civil War broke out; a militant anarchist group led by 'Pedro el Cruel' kills Joan Salvans, filmmaker, and his father Francesc Salvans. A cyclist, not far from their house, finds their bodies 'La Barata'. Just about the same time when Joan's life unfortunately ends, a new saga of the other young clandestine filmmaker, Ernesto Noriega picks up the story line to guide us through his adventures. He is arrested and almost executed, but luckily survives and secretly film the prison and on way to Madrid. The twentieth century saw an unprecedented vitality of the Spanish spirit, but also an unpredictably sharp conflict between old and new, developed North and feudal South. What drove the anarchist 'Pedro el Cruel' to murder Salvans? And why did the Spanish army revolt against the Republic 1936? While searching for answers we travel through Spain's chaotic decade with the images and stories of several amateur filmmakers and their memories focusing on all sides of the front like republicans, anarchists, Communist, and the foreigner Brits, Germans, Italians, Americans, who fought on both side.

El perro negro telling personal dramas, faults, faiths, illusions and desperation, the unseen side of an insane war. The workers self-government experiments, the multitude sufferings of civilians, the schism of the divided country, the revolutionary illusions, murders and the systematic massacres orgies of Franco's brutality changed once and for ever the universe of Unamuno, Lorca, Bunuel, Hernandez, Durruti, the royalists, and the Falangists. The rise, and fall of ideas, the final personal losses come near to our eyes. The unseen private films reveal the cruel and beautiful sides of the Spanish times - as a prelude to the World War II.
 Credits  Awards  Festivals  Bibliography


2005 - 84 minutes - Video
Director • Péter Forgács
Music • Tibor Szemző
Editing • Kati Juhász
Dramaturge • András Forgách
Sound design • Péter Forgács
Sound engineer • Tamás Zányi, Rudi Várhegyi
Music recording • László Hortobágyi, Zoltán Regenye

Amateur filmmakers of El perro negro
Jose Ernesto Diaz Noriega, Joan Salvans i Piera
Ignacio Salvans i Piera, Modest Solsona, Isadoro Navarrete
Daniel Jorro, Jesus Visa, Juan Vallbona, Russell Palmer

Researchers of El perro negro
Frank van der Heyden, Kirsten Landwehr, Milly Schloss, Gerard Nijssen,
Nuria del Valle, Masha Novikova, Paolo Simoni, Maria Encarnació Soler

Produced in association with
VPRO-television, Dutch Film Fund, CoBo Fund, ARTE France,
YLE/TV1 Co-productions, Sveriges Television

Producer and distributor of El perro negro
Cesar Messemaker © Lumen Film 2005
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2006 • Documantary Grand Prize • Hungarian Film Week, Budapest
2005 • The Maysles Brothers Documentary Grand Prize • Denver International Film Festival
2005 • Feature Length Documentary Film Award • Tribeca International Film Festival, New York
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2005 • DocuZone • Marseilles, Jerusalem and Paris
2005 • CinemaNet • Spain, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Slovakia and United Kingdom back to top>


 Jos Van Der Burg: El perro negro - Regie: Péter Forgács
 Various: El Perro Negro, de Peter Forgacs
 Péter Forgács e Bill Nichols, Robert A. Rosenstone, Kristian Feigelson, Michael Renov, Roger Odin, A: Arqiuteturada da Memoria
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