Real estate speculators destroyed the Spanish economy, and now ordinary citizens occupy empty buildings and speculate on new ways to live.
The global financial crisis that began in 2007 battered Spain. Over a quarter of the population lost their jobs, and hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes. The constitutional guarantee for housing that has been a cornerstone of Spain following the death of Francisco Franco has been shaken by a combination of greedy real estate speculators, predatory banks, corrupt public officials, and a global financial catastrophe.
In this impressionistic documentary film, Sabine Gruffat and Bill Brown travel across Spain to explore the consequences of the housing crisis. What they find are Spanish citizens, inspired by the politics of The 15M Movement and Occupy Wall Street, who are mobilizing, collectivizing, and fighting for the right for a decent place to live. Along the way, the filmmakers visit young mothers and their families squatting in failed condo developments; intentional communities of mountain cave dwellers; protest campsites that have sprung up in front of bank branches; and empty apartment buildings transformed into experiments in utopian living. The film examines the ideologies that separate housing from home, and real estate speculation from speculations about a better way to live.
Speculation Nation is interested in rendering political crisis not only as a wasteland but also a catalyst for social action. In depicting protest camps, demonstrations and the occupation of unused apartments and the caves overlooking Granada, the film’s title picks up a secondary meaning inflected by the determination of ordinary citizens to think outside the box.
After the screening, filmmaker and political activist Paige Sarlin, photojournalist Elia Gran and writer and activist Luis Moreno-Callabud will join in a panel discussion about the Spanish housing crisis and some of the resulting issues.
CPH:DOX, Cclosedhagen, 2014
53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2015 (Michael Moore Award for Best Documentary)
22nd Chicago Underground Film Festival
Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam, 2015
9th Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival, 2015