Protección oficial

Carlos TMori

Walking through my neighbourhood of Las Delicias (Valladolid), recording a documentary about it with my recently bought VHS camera in two modules (1985). On the Circunvalación road (today's Paseo de Juan Carlos I), military vehicles are parading, supposedly coming from manoeuvres. Although it had been several years since the failed coup d'état and even longer since the dictatorship, the appearance of tanks in the streets produced panic, an adulterated negative sensation of Official Protection, of military public protection or of a permanently oppressed life that emptied the streets of residents. Tanks take over the street. Reversing their movement, what looks like a promenade becomes an invasion. Yet the neighbourhood is empty.

The action takes place in a wide street in a neighbourhood. In front of the camera on the pavement, a detachment of trucks, jeeps and tanks slowly parades by. They may have come from military exercises or meetings, but the shock of seeing them pass by the neighbours in broad daylight is disquieting, less than five years had passed since the failed coup d'état. By way of an exorcism, in the subsequent shots, two areas of the uninhabited neighbourhood appear in lapses, albeit with clothes still hanging from ropes. The title refers both to the type of low-income, "social housing" that appears in the later shots, as well as to the function of the army in a country. But history proves that protection can be transformed into oppression of citizens. From this electronic distortion, restlessness emerges, the silence refocused, retreating into potential violence.

Based on a solid foundation of presumption (from the relatively distant militarised past) and a dark symbolism, the author disturbs an everyday anecdote, such as the return of tanks from manoeuvres, turning it into a process of conquest. A crude act of reworking, in the manner of media manipulation, albeit with analogue technologies relying on their interferences: motion reversals by rewinding, signal failures, discolouration, high contrast, etc. The soundtrack consists of an amplification of the noise produced by slowing down the transports. Deforming and deteriorating the original sources, the pollutions and mismatches enhance the tension towards the disturbing. This misdirected attention disrupts any testimonial capacity of the document. In this way, it stages a military occupation using the trickery of simulation.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Protección oficial
  • Direction: Carlos TMori
  • Production: Foto Cine Carlos (Valladolid). 1985.
  • Team:

    Realizació, gravació i edició: Carlos TMori
    Música: Mark Trade Center
    Masterització de so: Chema Alonso

  • Duration: 00:03:54
  • Original format: Quicktime
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright