Arraianos ARRAIANOS A film by Eloy Enciso The inhabitants of a small village lost in the woodlands between Galicia and Portugal live and work in a quiet routine. From time to time, brief conversations arise amongst them. Surrounded by an endless forest, incapable of finding a way out, the Arraianos ask themselves about the reasons for their confinement, wondering if such things as sunlight, free will or a horizon really exist. One day, a stranger arrives; the possibility of change, a way out, a means of purification…

What is left after the end, when all has been consumed? Somewhere between reality and fable, the Arraianos play out their lives to make a portrait of the rural world and its obstinate resistance to disappear, a picture of life as it is.


Running time: 70 min.

Colour: Colour

Recording format: Digital HD

Original language: Galician

Country of production: Spain

Production: Artika Films

Coproduction: Zeitun Films

Year of production: 2012

With Eulalia González, Aurora Salgado, Celsa Araujo and Antonio Ferreira


Director: Eloy Enciso

Scriptwriters: Eloy Enciso Cachafeiro and José Manuel Sande based on the play O Bosque by Jenaro Marinhas del Valle

Cinematographer: Mauro Herce

Acting couch: Manolo Fontemoura

Sound recorders: César Fernández and Joaquín Pachón

Sound mixer: Vasco Pimentel e Tiago Matos

Editor: Manuel Muñoz

Line producer: Rocío Cabrera

Production manager: Beli Martínez

Producers: Carlos Esbert · Eloy Enciso

Coproducer: Felipe Lage Coro


Locarno Film Festival (Switzerland)

Hamburg Film Festival (Germany)

Vancouver Film Festival (Canada)

DocsLisboa (Portugal)

Festival de Nouveau Cinema de Montreal (Canada)

Viennale (Austria)

SEFF Festival de Cine Europeo de Sevilla (Spain). Nuevas Olas Best Film Award

REC Tarragona (Spain)

Cineuropa Santiago de Compostela (Spain)

First Look – Museum of Moving Images NY (USA)

Acto de Primavera Award (Spain)

FICUNAM – Festival Internacional de Cine UNAM (Mexico). Special Mention

Play-doc Festival Internacional de Cine Documental (Spain)

Festival Cinemateca Uruguaya (Uruguay)

BAFICI Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente (Argentina). Vanguardia y Género Award

D’A Festival Cinema d’Autor Barcelona (Spain). Nou Talent Award

Transcinema (Peru). Transcinema Award

Melbourne International Film Festival (Australia)

Cinespaña. Festival du Cinéma Espagnol de Toulouse (France)

Underdox. Festival Für Dokument und Experiment Münich (Germany)

Director's notes

Thinking about how to combine the plot of the play O Bosque with the real events in the film, I read a reflection on the nature of image in Vertov’s diaries that was quite important for the creative process in Arraianos: “If you shoot a real apple and a fake one in a way that you cannot differentiate them, this doesn’t mean you know how to shoot. It actually means the opposite. We should shoot the real apple in a way that it is not possible to make any imitation”. Instead of working in the boundary of genres with a single hybrid language, I decided to explore two apparently antagonistic languages that have no other alternative but to coexist and to create a dialogue between them, as man and animals or reality and dream do.

In this sense, Arraianos uses a geographical border just as a cover story to make a frontier film in the sense of the duality of reality and imagination: what is printed in our memory is the mixture of reality and a mythical construction of this reality.

The portray of Galician language was another motive, depict it as a plastic and musical expression rather than a vehicle to transmit messages. The play O Bosque was chosen as the text to work this aspect because I think it is close to the idea defended by Straub: “turn stones into words and words into stones”. This ideal, together with the search for the essence of the place, were the main reasons to work with non-professional actors in a non-naturalist way. I tried to explore these little gestures, subtle movements or voice modulations that show, in spite of everything, the person behind the character. In other words, I tried to show the documentary (and plastic) essence that stands out, precisely, because of a fictional mechanism.

In Arraianos, many aspects as the character’s motivations or the historical context are open to interpretations. Sometimes this generates heated discussions with friends and the audience: why not showing in an unambiguous way what the “main subject” of the film is or what conclusion should we draw. Rather than an abstract or intellectual will, I tried to propose to the audience, fundamentally, a sensitive and intuitive relationship with image and sound. On the other hand, my intention was also to share the responsibility (the privilege in fact) to decide the meaning of the struggle of the Arraianos or even of the entire film. My wish is to create a dialogue with memory, which is full of conflicts, contradictions and meanings that change over time. Overall, I tried not to embalm the images, but to make them porous enough so they keep alive after the film is finished.

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