Nieves Lusquiños join the factory when she is 14. She remember the first envelop with the weekly pay inside, a little beige envelope that she hand to her mother but it makes feel herself important. She remember the first holydays with a yellow, convertible Diane 6, the strikes ... till a day the bosses stop paying: Working without getting paid?... no way. You must never work for free, please. Fuck off !, she speaks out loud.
The inner core of the story of Nación[Nation] are Nieves, a Sibyl-like character, and a group of female workers playing the role of spinners, revealing to us what the end of an era of female labour in factories represents. Their experience reaches us through vestiges, signs, images of the body as an archive of personal and communal events, which place pitched battles in the hands and in the throats of those desperate not to lose their jobs. And the echoes of a quotation: “It took us so long to become a Nation”, mirrored in the collapse of the pottery, textile and canning factories. The marks this demise leaves in the film are inscriptions of moments of existence, of voices that clash with the official iconography of women as “disposable” objects. They are actions that maintain “No”, that tempt fate, that express themselves in feminine, that break down the walls. It is a return to the happy years that are preserved by some archives.
Nieves is both herself and all the women who, condemned to return “home”, search for an alternative. The coexistence with Mónica de Nut, performer and precarious worker, brings to the surface a tale that transits memory and imaginary until breathing in tune with the film. The sphinx’s voice, aimed at opening and closing the film, deviates from its role and lets itself be dragged by a body that, through this action, releases fears. The sound architecture composed by Mercedes Peón, substantive element of the atmosphere of Nación, keeps pace with images whose origins, imperfections and different formats bring us closer, in some instances, to a family film always beating in time with sisterhood.
The film Nación takes place in the factory of Pontesa, which forms part of the Álvarez Company Group. The latter closed down in 2001 without paying salaries and damages. The Subel Property Developers purchased part of the lands of the factories but failed to comply with the agreements with the workers, who for years have been claiming 2.5 million euros.
In 28 January 2020, the case was “ready for sentencing”.
Margarita Ledo Andión
Filmmaker, writer, professor of audiovisual communications at the usc (University of Santiago de Compostela). The male character in A cicatriz branca (Galicia-Argentina, 2012), which was her first fiction film, a feminist film funded by the icaa (Spanish Film Institute) and the Women’s Institute, came out of her novel Porta Blindada (Edicións Xerais, vigo, 1990). Researcher and author of works on authorial cinema such as Cine de fotógrafos (gg, Barcelona, 2005), winner of the award “Espais d’Art Contemporani”, or essays such as El cuerpo y la cámara (Cátedra, Madrid, 2020), her experimental side can be found in short films that are included in the Festival de Cine Periférico S8 programme (Illa, 2009; A auga branca, 2019) and Cienfuegos, 1913 (2008) for the Habana Book Fair or Groenlandia (2018) for the Poetry Festival “Alguén que respira”. Among other festivals (DocsLisboa, Málaga, Mostra de Cinema de Dones, Trieste or Babel), in 2012 the Festival of Douardenez exhibited her films Santa Liberdade (Galicia-Brazil-Venezuela, 2004) and Liste, pronunciado Lister (Galicia, 2007). In 2017, the international festival DocumentaMadrid dedicated a retrospective to her under the brand of utopia and the wanderings of the 20th century. In the field of militant cinema, she is executive producer of cccv, 2005, by Ramiro Ledo Cordeiro, and author of short films such as Lavacolla 1939 for the film collective Hai que botalos! (2006). She is the author, likewise, of cultural and social works such as the medium-length film Apuntamentos para un filme (2012), which is included in the programmes of the Secretaría Xeral da Igualdade; Manuel María: “eu son fala e terra desta miña Terra” (2005/2016), or of the piece Bucle (2017) for the book-cd Herdeiras by Carmen Penim.
She is the winner of the following awards Premio Nacional da Cultura Galega 2008 in the Cinema and Audiovisual section, Premio Otero Pedrayo 2017, and member of the Real Academia Galega.
- Margarita Ledo Andión