Spain, 50 min
In 2003, the Itoiz reservoir flooded seven villages and three nature reserves in the Pyrenees. Activists, former inhabitants of the area and the director of the film still dream about the region’s past. A militant and dreamlike film that transports us into the collective mourning of a land engulfed by water.
The film starts with a dream. With their eyes closed, as if in a kind of collective trance, people evoke the memory of a land that comes to haunt them at night. This land is their land. It is where they were born, where they grew up, and where they will never be able to return, as the site has been drowned by the waters of a reservoir. Maddi Barber continues the very delicate memory project on these seven villages and three nature reserves that disappeared because of the construction of the Itoiz reservoir, in the Pyrenees of Navarre, which began with her first short film 592 metroz goiti (VdR 2018). A committed project that questions the historic wound of a people who has resolved to not accept the expropriation of its lands, and who is quite simply fighting oblivion. Through archive images filmed by activist groups, dreamlike accounts, and contemplative images highlighting the mystery that still emanates from this landscape today, Land Underwater transports us with its poetic wave. A militant and dreamlike film on the collective mourning of a land engulfed by water.
Elena López Riera