It’s easier getting gold out of men than from rivers.
Bertolt Brecht, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, 1927-30
The foundation of a city is not necessarily a heroic act. Everyday a new city begins to be built on water, concrete, sweat and money. Some are -almost- a pure idea. In his election manifesto president Juscelino Kubitschek promised the creation of a modern capital for Brazil in three years, Brasilia was built amongst the weeds of the high central plane, faithfully following the plans of Lucio Costa. At the same time the builders, who came on foot from all parts of the country, pitched their trembling huts where they slept and founded– without knowing it- their own city.
There are glass cities that grow out of offices and others made from tin and card that dance to the rhythm of their own inhabitants. On one occasion, a group of outlaws were being tailed by the police, when their truck broke down in the middle of the desert. They couldn’t keep going or turn back. So they ended up founding a paradise city, the golden city, where the worst crime was not to have any money. That city was called Mahagonny and Bertolt Brecht envisioned it at the time when Las Vegas came about shaping the image of the city that we recognise today.
In Prohibido cantar / No Singing a few characters make a gambling den where they offer entertainment games, tricks, love and food at low prices. The action takes place close to a dusty road, on the same plot of land -near Zaragoza- and during the time in which a great private city was planned, with 32 casinos, called Gran Escala, which was to attract 25 million visitors, and yet never saw the light of day. These images reveal how the city of Eurofarlete thrives, under a blazing sun and strong blowing winds. Fragments of what passed there over two days may help to discern the particular form of organization needed for survival, where everything is on sale at a bargain price or indeed at any price.
Director Jordi Colomer
Producer Oriol Caba
Cinematographer Marcell Erdélyi
Assistants Camera Deirdre Canle, Sofia Pérez-Portabella
Live Sound Recording Gautam K. Choudhury
Assistants Sound Recording Alex Silva, Adrià Martí
Editor Adolf Alcanyiz
Still Photography Marc Viaplana
Set Construction Sági Szabolcs
Direction Assistant Albert Kuhn
Media Manager Tomás Muñoz
Asistant Production Agnès Mateus
Aux. Production Irene Milla, Carles Fígols, Víctor Ruiz Colomer, Sofía Zambrano
Jenny Inma Chopo
Leocadia Begbick Isabel Rodríguez
Fugitives Jordi Romero, Josep Maria Faro
The magicians Jordi Magomero, Sergi Ayet
Tickets Reyes Vicente de Blas
Guitar player Marc Viaplana
Joueurs Julio Pareja, Luis Orduña (Berger), José Luis Lasheras, Raquel Atares, Leticia Navarro, Raquel Gazol, Beatriz Fle, Raúl Gazol, Alberto Samper, Carlos Javier Rodrigo, Alonso Ruata, Andrea Lostao, Francisco Tolosa, Crescencio Martinez, Joaquín Fustero, Ainhoa Gimeno, Pilar Letosa, Maksim Malachenko, Ivet Lafuente, Jaime Sánchez, Marta Soto, Andrea Lastao, Sabina Azara