2011, Movies

Squat, la ville est a nous! (2011 Christophe Coello)

This documentary is a fly-on-the-wall style exploration of the origins of the Occupy movement in the squats of Barcelona (only in this case it isn’t quite a true fly-on-the-wall, since the filmmaker was actually one of the squatters).

It is a fascinating look at naive-but-principled people trying to do something they think is right and where it leads them. I don’t say naive because of the squatting, but naive in the belief that there can be such things as “work for all” or “free transportation for all.” Apparently these people are unaware of the 7 billion other human beings on the planet and the associated costs of, say, building streetcars for all 7 billion.

They are also naive in their belief that humans are free from compromise. Everyone must compromise with the world. Moreover, politics is compromise. So it is particularly painful to see these people call out those who have actually succeeded in getting squatters’ rights recognized as somehow counter-revolutionary (I am paraphrasing) or to see them reject the offers extended them of politicians who are actually interested in their cause. But I digress.

The movie is fascinating, if incomplete. The biggest problem with it – aside from its obvious, inherent bias – is that the sound is mixed pretty terribly. This might actually be deliberate (to make the thing more visceral) but regardless it makes sitting through some of the louder scenes almost impossible, at least in a theatre (I was at the North American premiere!) where one doesn’t have a remote. Anyway, regardless of your political stripe, the film is certainly interesting and more than a little provocative, so it is worth checking out if you can actually find it on somewhere.


  • Runtime: 94 minutes
  • Country of Origin: France
  • Language: Spanish
  • Production Cmopanies:
    • C.P. Productions
    • In Association with Les Films Buenaventura
    • With the participation of Région Languedoc-Roussillon
    • In Partnership with Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC)
  • Distributed by Parasite Distribution

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