ONCE UPON A DREAM – A JOURNEY TO THE LAST SPAGHETTI WESTERN
Tonislav Hristov | Spain, Finland 2015| 62 Min. | OmeU
Beautiful, better, richer – the images Hollywood sends to the world are entrapping billions of people into a dream world. The reality however is often an existential struggle for a satisfying life. The tension between reality and film is strong in the Andalusian town Tabernas. Located in the southern desert in Spain, Tabernas used to be the shooting place of successful Hollywood productions, which went around the world and wrote cinema history: “Cleopatra,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”. Elizabeth Taylor, Harrison Ford, Claudia Cardinale, Steven Spielberg – they and hundreds of other famous names in the industry left their mark there. The residents lived in an almost unreal backdrop for generations – caught in a twilight zone between theater, film and life. Some play as extras and in smaller roles, some play in the shows, where tourists can relive the great moments of cinema, others have their lives built around the functioning of this system.
As time passed, the best times in Tabernas are over. The financial crisis hit Spain. The film industry has moved to cheaper shooting locations. The village lost all its glamour. Local businesses had to close. There is hardly any decent paid work, only few tourists come to town, no future prospects are in sight. But all of a sudden a new big film production staring a famous Hollywood star comes to Tabernas and a new light shines upon the people. A few of them have hope that life will be much better.