From Joan López Lloret, one of the most prolific directors of the Catalan documentary scene, we were able to see in past seasons “Sunday at 5”, about the peace process in Northern Ireland, and “Sinaia, más allá del océano”, about the Catalan exile in Mexico. On this occasion he returns to Mexico following the trail of a fascinating character: Josep Gironès, “the boy from Gràcia”, a boxer, European champion on several occasions and contender for the world title twice, who was an escort for President Companys during the Republic. Born in the neighborhood of Gràcia (on Carrer Llibertat, very close to Cinemes Girona, there is a plaque in the house where he was born), in Gironès, who was very famous in his time – “like Messi” says one of those who they remember him-, he had to flee to Mexico leaving his wife and daughter in Barcelona, accused of being a torturer in a Czech. While in Mexico it was proven that he had not been a torturer, but the news did not suit the Franco regime and it was covered up. No one, not even his daughter, knows what happened in Mexico and why he never came back; “Gironès does not go into exile, he fades away” says another of the interviewees. The documentary, with a very well-crafted narration and splendid original music by Toti Soler, approaches these unknowns and takes the viewer on a journey through the same uncertainty that accompanied him in his life, becoming a story of names own but at the same time universal.
The 70′ version that we screened had not been seen commercially in our home, in the cinema or on TV, although it went through several festivals (Docs Barcelona 2013, Docs DF 2013, Barcelona Sport Film Fest 2014 and II exhibition of Mexican cinema in Uruguay 2014). In the subsequent discussion we will have the participation of the director, the executive producer, Pio Vernis, and the grandson of Gironès, Antoni Sastre.
Title: 138 seconds
Director: Joan López Lloret
Screenplay: Javier Barreiro Cavestany and Joan López Lloret
Production: Pio Vernis
Director of photography: Joan López Lloret
Edition: Meri Collazos Solà
Music: Toti Soler