An outlandish house in the middle of a Spanish “Beverly Hills”, a down and out businessman-turned-saint, a five-foot tall drunk and friend of the King of Spain, an old woman who should die, some Russian squatters…
Bella Terra portrays the lives of Charles and Henry, people living outside the system that surrounds them and swallows them up. This is Héctor Muniente and Moncho Fernández’s first feature film, directed under the reference of the Masyles brothers and their Grey Gardens, a 1975 documentary film that was adapted into an HBO movie about the life of Edith Bouvier Beale and her mother Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, relatives of Jackie Kennedy.
Bella terra is the offspring of a project about a dining hall for the homeless in the Raval district of Barcelona where directors met Carlos and Enrique, the protagonists of the film. The authors were interested in exploring charity and good intentions.
During the film shoot, the directors were also influenced by Bertolt Brecht’s play The Good Soul of Setzuan, Buñuel’s Viridiana and the film work of Lars von Trier.
In the words of Héctor Muniente: “It’s a film about two incorruptible friends who get into fights and then make up ‘ad infinitum’, who need each other in the final journey of their lives. They live their stripped down lives on threshold of poverty, but this has not taken even a shred of dignity away from them or slowed them in the least.
The film premiered in competition at the Documenta Madrid Film Festival.