Anunciaron tormenta, Javier Fernández Vázquez, Spain, 2020, 88'
Presentation by Javier Fernández Vázquez
In 1904, Ësáasi Eweera, the last native Bubi leader who opposed the Spanish rule at the current island of Bioko (Equatorial Guinea) was detained by colonial guards and forcefully taken to Santa Isabel, the colony's capital. Imprisoned and fatally wounded, Ësáasi Eweera died three days later. His home village was burned down and most of its inhabitants disappeared.
An incomplete record of those events is classified in Spain's General Administration Archive. File by file, handwritten reports and letters show several accounts of what allegedly happened and expose the progressive operations of concealment carried out by colonial institutions. Meanwhile, some native oral accounts have survived and opposed Spanish official version, confronted the permanent risk of oblivion and attempted to contribute to a sort of emancipated collective memory.
By reenacting written texts through voiceovers, taping and studying native Bubi oral accounts and identifying historically charged sites, A storm was coming tries to reflect on the gaps, silences, contradictions and falsehoods that colonial history is usually built upon.
Anunciaron tormenta has participated in many international film festivals such as Berlinale, Viennale, Jeonju International Film Festival, DocLisboa, Dokufest, Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata, and Documenta Madrid.
Javier Fernández Vázquez (Bilbao, 1980) is a film director and researcher in visual culture. After studying Audiovisual Communication at the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), he graduated in Film Directing from the Escuela de Cinematografía y del Audiovisual de la Comunidad de Madrid (ECAM) with a short fiction film: Señales de indiferencia (2007).
In 2008 he founded the documentary and experimental film collective Los Hijos, together with Luis López Carrasco and Natalia Marín Sancho. His first feature film, Los materiales (2010), won the Jean Vigo Award for Best Director at the Punto de Vista International Documentary Film Festival and a special mention at FidMarseille. Their subsequent works, including Enero 2012 o la apoteosis de Isabel La Católica (2012) and Árboles (2013), have been screened at numerous international film festivals as well as in museums and contemporary art centres. The career of Los Hijos has received a retrospective at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival (Argentina).
In 2015, Javier Fernández Vázquez began his academic career in the field of anthropology and visual culture, which has led him to research topics related to social history, collective memory, colonialism and material culture. In 2020 he resumes his film career as executive producer of El año del descubrimiento, directed by Luis López Carrasco, and producing and directing Anunciaron tormenta, his first solo feature film, premiered at the Berlinale 2020.