Raul, a farmer who wants to grow organic food, hires Iurie to help him in the fields. Iurie is a Moldavian wrestling fighter, who earns a living in whatever comes his way. Slowly, their personal stories intertwine with those of three solitary women: Maria, an elderly lady forced to leave her country house for a retirement home; Rose, a nurse from the Philippines who just arrived in the country; and Maribel, a prostitute who has less and less clients. The destinies of all these characters become entwined as the summer goes on. THE PLAGUE is a film of intertwining stories that offers a moving portrait of life in the outskirts of Barcelona. The main characters are not actors. They play themselves after four years of working with the director. This long process has permitted Neus Ballús to reveal the uncertainty and rebel spirit that underlies contemporary crisis-hit Spain.

Directors Statement

At first I thought that THE PLAGUE would be the portrait of a place, and in fact it ended up being a portrait of a group of characters who devoted themselves wholeheartedly to the film. This does not mean that as a filmmaker I have not taken a very active role in selecting all the elements that make up the film. Far from being an observational document, we filmed it as a fiction: we made things happen, we set up the collision between characters and their collision with their own dramas. The entire construct of the film is created to serve the characters: a kind of elevated platform where they can express themselves and from where their most authentic emotions and gestures may arise. Paradoxically enough, this construct is the way I felt that the truly unique reality of these people could emerge with all their humility and strength most forcefully.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Neus Ballús

Written by: Neus Ballús

Produced by: Pau Subirós

Cinematography: Diego Dussuel

Editing: Neus Ballús, Domi Parra

Production Design: Judit Quintana

Original Score: David Crespo

Sound: Pau Subirós, Marisol Nievas, Juan Gómez-Cornejo Sánchez

Main Cast: Maribel Martí, Raul Molist, Iurie Timbur, Maria Ros, Rosemarie Abella

Nominations and Awards

  • European Discovery - Prix Fipresci 2013