As always, we put between the sword and the wall the director of the D’A – Festival de Cinema de Barcelona, Carlos R. Ríos, so that he can give us a tour of the essentials of the festival. This year he has chosen a film for each of the ten days of the festival.

Animal, Sofia Exarchou
The director who debuted with the punky Park is back with a poignant, raw portrait of holiday resorts and the entertainers who work at a hotel in Greece. Her style is similar to that of Ulrich Seidl; less sordid, just as incisive and very sad, despite the sound of “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie” by Baccara. A film that runs no risk at all of becoming a Greek tourism commercial.
April 5, 9:00 p.m. Aribau 1 | April 12, 7:30 p.m. Aribau 4

Family Portrait, Lucy Kerr
An enigmatic, mysterious flick, perfect for a leisurely Saturday afternoon, but far from the typical TV thriller. Here, as if conducting an orchestra, the North-American filmmaker weaves a symphony of a family’s comings and goings, interactions and reactions before posing for a group photo that never gets taken. Buñuel-style surrealism, in this case outdoors, with breathtaking photography and sound design.
April 6, 5:00 p.m. Aribau 1 | April 8, 9:30 p.m. Aribau 1

Le Retour, Catherine Corsini
Like a summer tale in Corsica and its beaches, Le Retour is a story of secrets, lies and deceit between a mother and her two teenage daughters (impeccably played by two fabulous rising stars), with all the moodiness and hormonal ups and downs that such an unhealthy situation stirs. A summer flooded with emotions and the lingering taste of saltwater.
April 6, 9:30 p.m. Aribau 1 | April 7, 5:30 p.m. Aribau 2

Youth (Spring), Wang Bing
Once again, as in other Wang Bing films (with a handheld camera and opting for long, meandering shots) we delve into the lives of the Chinese generation Z who tirelessly work in textile factories to save as much money as they can before going back home. Despite the film’s length, and the gritty depiction of the gruelling working conditions, there is laughter, naturalness and zest for life that young people around the world always convey, via smartphone.
April 8, 7:00 p.m. Aribau 2 | April 11, 7:00 p.m. Aribau 4

Critical Zone, Ali Ahmadzadeh
Jafar Panahi meets the Safdie brothers. The winner of the Golden Leopard at the latest edition of the Locarno Festival shocks us with its strength, boldness and frenetic drug-charged pace of the Tehran underground; a side of Iran that we hardly ever get to see, filmed almost clandestinely. These are the voices of a generation that is liberated its own way, and especially in the nocturnal, lysergic journeys of its protagonists.
April 5, 9:30 p.m. Aribau 4 | April 9, 9:15 p.m. Aribau 4

Mal viver / Viver Mal, João Canijo
Two films in one, or two versions of the same space. João Canijo is back at D’A and is doing so just like Hong Sangsoo: twice. Mal Viver and Viver Mal is a game of mirrors, two movies that unveil the secrets and hidden truths of the customers and owners of a quaint family-run hotel on the Portuguese coast. We overhear conversations that intersect like the films themselves as they narrate the lives of the characters; their loves and deceptions, philias and phobias.
Bad Living: April 10, 6:15 p.m. Aribau 2 | April 11, 6:15 p.m. Aribau 2
Living Bad: April 10, 8:45 p.m. Aribau 2 | April 11, 9:00 p.m. Aribau 2

MMXX, Cristi Puiu
Two years ago, in the midst of the aftermath of the pandemic, the D’A featured Malmkrog, one of the magnificent films by Cristi Puiu, who is still one of the foremost directors on the international scene. Now, in MMXX, the Romanian maestro sublimates a portrait of contemporary society and the repercussions of the pandemic, and how we kidded ourselves that we would change for the better.
April 11, 8:00 p.m. Aribau 3 | April 12, 6:00 p.m. Zumzeig

Dormitory, Nehir Tuna
An impeccable aesthetic rendered in delightful black and white, and a certain dash of mystery. Tuna debuts with this portrait of a period in Turkey and the relationship between two residents of a student dormitory. A coming-of-age picture about companionship, friendship and first loves that oozes sentiment, with some fantastic performances that fearlessly and shamelessly depict the miseries that Turkish society has been suffering for too long.
April 9, 9:00 p.m. Aribau 1 | April 12 7:15 p.m. Aribau 1

La práctica, Martín Rejtman
Absolutely everyone has, at some point, felt the tinge of failure in their spine, or has experienced it intensely. Here, the protagonist, masterfully played by the endearing Argentine actor Esteban Biglardi, lives and bears the burden of the shortcomings in his life as best he can, a fine metaphor for how Argentinians deal with their country’s political failure. At D’A we are steadfast in our encouragement of Argentine cinema to keep looking forward and bearing fruit, and in our insistence that no government should restrict art or the freedom to create.
April 7, 5:00 p.m. Aribau 3 | April 13, 2024 9:45 p.m. Aribau 3

8 Views of Lake Biwa, Marko Raat
This intrigue-packed marvel, which premiered at the last Rotterdam Festival, is as mysterious as it is sickening, potent, striking, stirring and disconcerting. Flying over these eight vistas are Kaurismäki, Andersson, Fassbinder and ancient Japanese culture.
April 13 9:00 p.m. Aribau 4 | April 14, 5:00 p.m. Aribau 4