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EXCLUSIVE: Trailer for Magaluf Ghost Town, on the line-up for Hot Docs


- This Franco–Spanish production, directed by Miguel Ángel Blanca, explores the impact of tourism on the Majorcan beach resort

EXCLUSIVE: Trailer for Magaluf Ghost Town, on the line-up for Hot Docs

Magaluf Ghost Town [+see also:
film review
interview: Miguel Ángel Blanca
film profile
has won a spot in the official section of the Canadian documentary film festival Hot Docs, to be held online between 29 April and 9 May. Written and directed by Miguel Ángel Blanca and featuring dialogue in Spanish, English and Russian, this feature-length documentary takes us to the heart of the globally infamous mass-tourism mecca that is Magaluf, exploring how local people experience the impacts of tourism.

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The synopsis hints at all manner of strange goings-on: a whiff of urine and blood; police cars and ambulances racing through the streets, no one batting an eyelid; screams ringing out in the middle of the night... But Magaluf is just a small, unassuming island community, a place many have ventured to call the “Twin Peaks of the Balearics.” The population, constantly careening between nightly scenes of horror and a genuine summertime bliss, have seen their town transformed into an icon of European low-cost tourism, on the back of a reputation for riotous after-dark debauchery.

A million tourists pour onto Magaluf’s streets every summer, materializing like ghosts, come to turn the town’s public spaces into a theme park where virtually nothing is off-limits. Meanwhile, the local community must do its best to live with the contradictions of a tourist model that feels like an annual invasion but also generates millions in revenue for the restaurant sector, creates thousands of jobs and provides opportunities for a considerable number of people who would struggle to make it anywhere else.

Magaluf Ghost Town is an ensemble piece that offers a portrait of a community as it navigates the transition from hibernation to the high season. A blend of fact and fiction, it cultivates a mysterious, almost thriller-like quality without straying too far from a distinctively Balearic humour. The plot, however, transcends culture, inviting us to hear the dreams of a community that is simply trying to survive the onslaught, and reflecting on what it means to be a tourist in Europe.

“To be honest, I can no longer remember whether Magaluf is the most magical place on Earth or the stuff of nightmares,” confesses the director. “We spend so many years soaking up the myth; I myself went to Magaluf in search of the legend, eager to find out if everything I’d heard was true. The media have created a narrative that heaps a lot of stigma on what is, after all, just a small Majorcan community, featuring Brits abroad, booze, bust-ups, sex, sea and sand. Every year, the TV news serves up sensationalist stories of what goes on in Magaluf, feeding the monster and even coining new terms that further that narrative: mamading, balconing, Shagaluf… Magaluf is a wild party where anything goes, an image that acts as a beacon for those out for a good time but has been a curse for the local community,” Blanca concludes.

Magaluf Ghost Town is a coproduction between Boogaloo Films, Little Big Story and Mosaic Produccions, in association with Movistar+, France Télévisions, RTS and IB3. It was produced with support from the Institut Català d´Empreses Culturals, CNC, PROCIREP/Societé des producteurs and ANGOA. British agency Taskovski Films is handling international sales.

Check out our exclusive trailer below:

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(Translated from Spanish)

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