LET'S LEAVE THE ARAGON
We leave Aragon .
The Aragonese filming ends in Belchite viejo, the town that was bombed in the summer of 1937 by the republican army, the ruins of which remain skeletal with corpse-eyed windows that let through a very blue sky. Now we shoot Uncertain Glory. We are at 38 degrees and the snow-foam spitting the water hoses from the fire truck kindly ceded by the city of Zaragoza melts very quickly. The scene in the film depicts an abandoned village corrected by fear of bombs divided by a wire fence: Republicans on one side and nationals on the other. "That's right," the mayor of the town hall tells me. Soldiers on both sides loot the side of the street next to them. Lluís (Marcel Borràs) has found a cardboard horse and takes it for his son, a murmur on the other side surprises him and unholsters the weapon. Wrapped in a thick cloak, the enemy soldier bursts into great laughter, it is Soleràs (Oriol Pla), his soulmate. What is he doing on the enemy side? As in The Third Man when Josep Cotten discovers Orson Welles in the devastated Vienna, our Uncertain Glory is a story of deep friendship that also encounters the conflicting ethics of the protagonists. We repeat Soleràs' laughter several times so that it hurts, loudly, even more. It is the ritual of sepulchral silence demanded by the sound technician. We had dinner under the awning and it was night and the filming resumed: Action! Cut it! Good! I do not lose sight of the calmer Agustí but who begins to accuse, like the whole team, the days and days of filming. I lock myself in the makeshift production office to review the numbers over and over again with Aleix and Gaiska, the Aragonese partner until we hear applause. It's over for today.
It is up to me to leave Belchite without a walk along the long gutted street of the village. The spotlights have gone out and a black moon shines brightly over my head. How the eyes get used to the darkness! Under the vault of the sky I walk and walk and the voices of the team languish. The ghosts of the buildings with the silence of the night impress even more. It seems a lie that there would have been so much life there! I stumble upon some stairs that lead me inside the village church, I recognize it by the arches and the collapsed vault that like an immense round mouth lets you see the very clear sky dotted with stars. What infinity has the moment! My cell phone rings and scares me. It's Maria. -Isona where are you? They close the portal and everyone is out! I knew it! - Now I do turn on the cell phone flashlight to run back the road and not stumble on the last stretch with the burnt objects we scattered on the floor, books, chairs, coughs of carts, I go on the Republican side of town, here in doubt.
The next day we return to Barcelona and cross the road skirting the miles and miles of Monegros elephant skin. We cannot help but love the Monegros with this rocky rotundity that we will not forget, as we will not forget the unconditional support of the authorities and the Aragonese population that have made Uncertain Glory their film. Now we will finish shooting it in Catalonia from next week. And the scenes to come are a huge chore, a challenge we desire with all our souls!