A Storm Was Coming (Anunciaron tormenta), dir. Javier Fernández Vázquez, Spain 2020, 87 min., Spanish and Bubi with English subtitles
Pushing beyond the confines of accepted colonial histories, the solo debut feature from Spanish director Javier Fernández Vázquez is an audiovisual experiment rooted in rigorous anthropological research. Developed last year at the inaugural edition of PROGRESSIO, the FRAMES of REPRESENTATION development platform, A Storm Was Coming offers a counter-narrative to the traditional history of Spain’s complex relationship with Equatorial Guinea, its former colony.
Blending genres and mixing film with original drawings, writings and photographs, the feature intersperses quotidian scenes filmed within Equatorial Guinea with austere close-ups of a voiceover studio in which Spanish actors narrate a version of history that questions the so-called official narrative. But within this studio space, the artificiality is heightened as the actors stumble over their story. A Storm Was Coming is an unflinching defence of oral history’s capacity to challenge dominant narratives of power.
The screening is followed by a live Q&A with director Javier Fernández Vázquez, hosted by Festival curator Nico Marzano on 8 December. You can join this event for free at 8:15 pm GMT here
In 2018, the ICA announced that A Storm Was Coming and Brittany Shyne’s Seeds would both receive support through the inaugural edition of PROGRESSIO, the FRAMES of REPRESENTATION film development platform developed by the ICA in close collaboration with Cineteca Madrid, the Sundance Documentary Institute and Kingston University. A Storm Was Coming received its world premiere in February 2020 at the 70th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival.