Environmentalism and the quest for freedom come together in La pecera, the feature debut by Glorimar Marrero
- “The history of the island of Vieques is perfect for this tale about the symptoms of colonialism manifesting themselves in the body of a Puerto Rican woman,” according to the director
November marked the start of the shoot for La pecera (lit. “The Fish Tank”) in Puerto Rico. The feature debut by Glorimar Marrero tells the story of Noelia, a cancer sufferer who does not wish to undergo treatment and who decides to look for a way out by returning to her native Vieques, an island whose waters are teeming with tonnes of pollutive waste left behind by the US Army. The personal story of this woman seeking respect for her decisions intertwines with her involvement in a political and environmental pressure group critical of the situation that her native island is forced to endure. Indeed, on the island of Vieques, the US Navy engaged in military activities for more than 60 years, leaving behind waste that still remains abandoned to this day and keeps one-third of the island’s surface closed to traffic. Today, residents have a cancer rate that is 30% higher than that of their fellow countrymen and women.
“I decided to set La pecera on Vieques because it’s a manifestation of one of the most dire consequences of the political relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States,” remarks the director. “The history of this place inspired me, and it became the ideal natural space for this story that talks about the symptoms of colonialism in the body of a Puerto Rican woman. Noelia is tired of anti-cancer treatments and just wants her family to respect her wishes: to live out her final days as she wants to… And to feel free.”
The movie stars Isel Rodríguez, Magalí Carrasquillo and Maximiliano Rivas. The shoot is taking place in San Juan (the capital city of Puerto Rico) and on Vieques. La pecera is Solita Films’ second co-production with Latin America, following Hormigas [+see also:
film profile] by Antonella Sudasassi, which was premiered at the Berlinale. “At Solita Films, we believe in the narrative power of Latin American cinema, which is increasingly being directed by women, and we want to carry on building bridges so that Spain can once again take its place as a priority partner on these productions,” states producer Jose Esteban Alenda. “The thing that attracted us the most about this film was how clever the premise was. Glorimar has been able to weave a storyline that, using a painful personal experience – in this case, the loss of a loved one – as its starting point, manages to introduce a social and, particularly, a political layer, which lends the film a unique dimension,” he sums up.
The Spanish crew members on the team include editor Raúl de Torres (Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle [+see also:
interview: Gustavo Salmerón
film profile]) and musician Sergio de la Puente (Not the End [+see also:
film profile]). In addition, La pecera was one of the projects that won the MAFIZ EAVE Award at the Málaga Film Festival, and it also scooped the Award for Best Original Screenplay at the Havana Film Festival.
Glorimar Marrero is a filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist whose body of work includes films, audiovisual works, still photography and installations. The central themes of her work revolve around illness, mourning, gender and inequality. In 2016, she released the short films Biopsia and Still.
La pecera is a co-production by Canica (Puerto Rico), Solita Films and Auna Producciones (Spain). The movie boasts the support of the Tribeca Film Institute, Ibermedia, the ICAA and Madrid City Council. Elamedia Estudios will release it in commercial Spanish movie theatres in autumn 2022.
(Translated from Spanish)
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