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You are in: Home > 2014. 62nd Edition  > Festival Diary > Spanish emigrants find their voice
Spanish emigrants find their voice
Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Although there are no official figures to back this up, it is estimated that since the economic crisis began, about 700,000 Spaniards have left the country to look for work abroad, and almost 30,000 of them have ended up in Edinburgh, which is where Icíar Bollaín has found the human material that has inspired her latest film, the documentary En tierra extraña, which is being shown for the first time at the Festival as part of itsspecial screenings.

“It all began when I met Gloria, a young woman from Almería who was organising a collective protest to bring together some of the Spaniards living in Edinburgh where they could express their frustration and highlight the situation they are in. They are quite clear about where they are and why they are where they are, and above all, about the people who have led them to the situation that they arein.” In this respect, Bollaín is quite categorical about the fact that, “contrary to what they want to make us believe, there isn’t a silent majority but a silenced majority, when they are given the chance to express themselves, their eloquence is powerful. I suppose it’s because they have had a long time to reflect on the circumstances they are in and this means they have very clear ideas, and also because a large majority of them are highly educated, which is what really makes them different from that generation of Spanish emigrants who left Spain in the 1960s”.


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