DOK Leipzig Film Festival

The Project

The Project

Brilliant yellow protection suits with oxygen masks cautiously explore a withered orange plantation. Architectural elements float like loose space ship parts through the white void of a 3D visualisation. The camera investigates the ruined interior of an extensive building complex, the fading beauty of a glowing promise for the future, cast in concrete. In Cuba.

What looks like science fiction is actually the legacy of a utopia. The five-storied, elongated complex in the midst of orange plantations was once built as an agricultural school for 50,000 students. Attracted by the visionary project, people from other regions of the island republic settled here. Today they live like ghosts in the long corridors of a place that is lethargically floating between the past and the future because of the effects of the Citrus tristeza virus. The static shots of this film, however, don’t record decay but a quiet change. Alejandro Alonso Estrella and his team have created an aesthetically impressive haptic cinema of the smells and buzzing of the rooms – a gentle approach to an actual building, its inhabitants and the ideas behind it. Faced with this drawing board communism the film doubts its own visual recollections. The invisible censor is full of suspicion – and has other reasons, too.

André Eckardt

Prize of the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique 2017

Original Title: El proyecto
Country: Cuba
Year: 2017
Language: Spanish
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 60 min.
Technique: 3D Digital, Found Footage
Format: DCP
Color: Colour and B&W
Director: Alejandro Alonso Estrella
Producer: Yamila M. Montero
Cinematographer: Alejandro Alonso Estrella
Editor: Emmanuel Peña
Animation: Andy F. Pérez
Sound: Jesús Bermúdez
Music: Rafael Ramírez

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2018 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.