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Jonathan Cenzual putting the finishing touches to his new film Miranda


- The director of The Shepherd continues rummaging through rural Spain’s past and present with his latest proposition, shot in black and white, and just as free-spirited as his previous works

Jonathan Cenzual putting the finishing touches to his new film Miranda

“I went back to my hometown for a month, on my own, to shoot people’s everyday lives, and thus we gradually get to know their glorious past and harsh present,” explains Jonathan Cenzual exclusively to Cineuropa. “My new film has moments of observational cinema, others where the characters tell me stories, and in between, there are scenes of houses and abandoned places where only ghosts live.” The director of The Shepherd [+see also:
film review
interview: Jonathan Cenzual
film profile
is thus continuing his exploration of the rural world of Castile, which he is so familiar with, in his most recent, self-produced feature, Miranda.

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Miranda is an utterly free-spirited work, teetering between fiction and documentary, filmed by Cenzual himself in May this year, and starring people from a small town in the mountains of Salamanca. The inhabitants have to contend with the gradual desertion of the area and coexist with the memories that still linger there – but they also strive to find happiness in this place where they are spending their lives. “It’s an honest and unintentionally melancholic view of a place that lies somewhere between progress and tradition, where the tabor and the bagpipes blend in with the sound of the blaring television sets in bars and the ghosts of the previous inhabitants, which coexist with the living,” states the filmmaker.

In the movie, moments of observational documentary intermingle with different characters’ stories, as they talk about their memories, their fears or their vision of the area’s future. “In amongst all this, we see ghosts, or the mere imprint left by the former inhabitants,” says Cenzual of Miranda, which he shot in black and white. “I didn’t want this work to be regarded as an ethnographic documentary or a report on the town. For me, it’s a non-fictionalised fiction film, given that it’s the vision I wanted to capture, and although all of the tales and characters are real, it’s always going to have a subjective point of view, as I didn’t interview or observe all of the town’s inhabitants, like a journalist would. And given that it’s filmed in black and white, this visual aspect lends it a more ethereal quality.”

Miranda, an independent film that can boast the support of the Salamanca City Council via the Salamanca City of Culture and Knowledge Foundation and the Salamanca Provincial Council, is currently in post-production, eyeing festivals due to take place in the late summer and in autumn 2019.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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