Interval 33. Irene M. Borrego
La Visita y Un Jardín secreto
This fresh edition welcomes film-maker Irene M. Borrego’s film La Visita y Un Jardín secreto (The Visit and a Secret Garden), the winner of awards at the Málaga Film Festival, Documenta Madrid and Doclisboa in 2022. The film centres on Isabel Santaló, a Spanish painter whose career remains shrouded in obscurity. The screening is accompanied by a talk with the director and a special guest in each session: Lola Hinojosa and Antonio López, respectively.
Very little is known about the mysterious figure of Isabel Santaló (born Isabel Martínez Ruiz, Córdoba, 1923–2017), an artist erased from Spanish art history, despite being part of numerous collective exhibitions in Galería Biosca (1962), an abstract art gallery that ran in the 1950s and 1960s, and the subject of glowing essays by distinguished critics such as Vicente Aguilera Cerni and renowned writers like José Manuel Caballero Bonald. The film shows Isabel Santaló as an elderly woman clinging to life in a modest apartment on the outskirts of Madrid, where she receives the occasional visit. Through these visits, and the voice of Antonio López — the only painter of his generation to remember her with astonishing clarity — a multi-faced picture is formed. A unique gaze at an old woman in the humblest moment of her life which, as the film elapses, reveals powerful and lucid visions of art. In short, a film about memory and forgetting, about the creative process and what it means to be a woman and an artist.
Irene M. Borrego (1979) is a film-maker. She studied Film Directing at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV (EICTV) in Cuba, before broadening her studies further at The London Film School. She was later a pupil of film-maker Abbas Kiarostami. As a producer, she has made nine short films to date, with La Visita y Un Jardín secreto her first feature-length film as a director.
Lola Hinojosa (1979) oversees the Museo Reina Sofía’s Performing Arts and Intermedia Collection.
Antonio López (1936) is an artist. His work is part of the Museo Reina Sofía, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, collections, among others. He is also at the centre of the film El sol del membrillo (1992) by film-maker Víctor Erice.
La Visita y Un Jardín secreto
Spain and Portugal, 2022, colour, original version in Spanish, DA, 65'
- Irene M. Borrego
- Mariangela Mondolo-Burghard and Renata Sancho
- Irene M. Borrego and Manuel Muñoz Rivas
- Rita Noriega and Javier Calvo
- Nicolas Tsabertidis and Hugo Leitão
- Manuel Muñoz Rivas and Irene M. Borrego
- Audio post-production:
- Hugo Leitão
- Frederic Mompou, performed by Alexis Delgado Búrdalo
- Assistant director:
- Adriana F. Castellanos
25th Málaga Film Festival, 2022. Biznaga de Plata Award for Best Director and the Biznaga de Plata Audience Award
Documenta Madrid, 2022. 19th International Film Festival. Audience Award
Cineteca Madrid, Best National Film
IBAFF International Film Festival of Murcia, 2022. 12th edition. Best Feature Film Award
20th Doclisboa, 2022. HBO Award for Portuguese Competition Best Film, and the ETIC Award for Best Portuguese Competition Film – Escolas Award