Manola is the main character of this video documentary. She is an 87 year old woman, who, every morning, takes the bus from Getafe, the neighbourhood where she lives, to other neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Madrid, such as Aranjuez and Fuenlabrada. These are all return trips.
In this piece, which Gutierrez produced together with her sister Gabriela, images are often divided in two, thereby coupling Manola’s portrait with elements of her surroundings, of the streets she walks along, the house roofs she sees from her flat.
The camera follows Manola as she walks along the streets, and stays still with a shot of her face when she is in her balcony narrating episodes of her life. The spectator doesn’t hear any questions, only Manola’s fragmented story.
Manola is someone who lived through the Spanish civil war and the post war period, but, that which this piece highlights, is not this fact, but the strength, courage and optimism with which she has faced and managed to overcome all the personal misery and drama in her life. This video presents a first person portrait of someone who reminds us of the reality of a country not so far away.