Building Spain (The Building) | A documentary reflection of the financial and economic paralysis of a country | Victor Moreno

After multiple impairments with the release of the documentary that put the bank Santander, former owner of the property, the documentary recorded in 2007 when they started the rehabilitation of this landmark building, came to light last year.

In it, the director Victor Moreno sought to capture the fall or rebuilding what had been a symbol of the Franco regime, but the cessation of work due to the economic crisis turns into a viewer of the financial and economic paralysis of the country during these years.

“The inauguration of the renovated building was expected to take place at the end of 2010 and I was inclined to not stop shooting the building works until that time arrived. Once the inside of the building was stripped down to its bare structure, though, the project was temporarily suspended. All of a sudden, I felt that I hadn’t simply filmed the disappearance of one given place. Unknowingly, I had managed to somehow capture a reflection of the financial situation of the country. I realised that immense building was a monumental metaphor for Spain and for a unique period of our recent social and economic history.

The routine work of all the construction workers that I had met during that time was interrupted; some of the immigrants returned to their home countries, others remained in Madrid looking for further employment. As for the Spanish workers, most of them had to claim unemployment benefits. In the mean time, a building that had been an emblem of the city as well as a symbol for prosperity had been reduced to a mere skeleton, its memory diluted behind the walls of the great facade. In short, it had become an immense empty space which the uncertainty of the times were not going to be able to cover up.

Despite all that, I have not given my original plan up. I am reluctant, maybe at a subconscious level, to cut all links with the building. I have not yet lost hope that maybe, when I least expect it, building works will resume and both projects, the film and the building, will be able to continue their course.”

The film was nominated in 8 categories for the Goya Awards, being nominated for best documentary film.