Peatón Bonzo is a documentary about a pedestrian disobedience campaign against cars’ State of Sovereignty in the city. Different experts are interviewed and give us their opinion on this event which took place in Seville in 2003, and which, by means of various actions, revealed the danger of the invasion of cars in cities, the pollution, the noise, and the invasion of public spaces (to the detriment of people). Another important danger which Peatón Bonzo pointed out, is our ever-growing dependence on oil (and its consequent wars).
According to the filmmakers "Peatón Bonzo was initiated with two aims in mind which have already been attained: one is an academic one, namely to complete a degree in Audiovisual Communication, and the other one is more ‘political-aesthetic’ in scope, namely, to render visible certain ‘artivism’ practices which we think are key for continuing to improve things.”
The piece begins with archive images of the first instances of traffic congestion in the city together with images of car racing. These are followed by images of vehicle security tests similar to those used in public campaigns for the prevention of road accidents: a pseudo-human dummy us thrust against the windshield when its vehicle crashes; fortunately it was wearing a seat belt. This is the visual introduction to a series of interviews, some done in a studio and others out on the street talking directly to pedestrians, with which we are told about Peatón Bonzo and are presented with the opinions of researchers on the subject. The first interview is with a writer who is preparing a book called Chronicle of a bonze pedestrian. Terrorism on the road or victims of traffic. He has followed the phenomenon and attended several actions such us the “great paellada” in the Niña de los Peines roundabout (in the neighbourhood of La Alameda, in Seville), in which Peatón Bonzo presented its Spring/Summer collection, all the new designs for bonze superheroes’ costumes. The video shows us images of this action, including a dance number on top of a car. Other interviewees include a government official for Traffic Control, a Stanford University professor, who offers the historical and geographical context for this phenomenon, several pedestrians, a “victim” of Peatón Bonzo, and a driver who converted to the cause after he ran over a young man at a pedestrian crossing.
The piece offers us images of the disobedience practices undertaken by Peatón Bonzo, using banners, t-shirts, stickers etc. designed for the campaign.
The documentary finishes with images taken by a bank’s security cameras: an individual jumps against a car stopped at a red light. He could be suicidal, but in fact, he’s not putting his life at more of a risk than it already is. All he is attempting to do is exploit the fear of running someone over shared by all drivers. This is one further action with which Peatón Bonzo aims to make drivers conscious of the dangers faced by pedestrians and of the actual abuse that they suffer, including being run over.
Peatón Bonzo has received the First Prize in the Certamen Audiovisual INJUVE 2003.