TIFF 2017. Shadows Shorts. Review of “Zona-84” by Lonan García

Lonan García’s latest work, “Zona-84”, is a futurist short film set in a post-apocalyptic Barcelona. It premiered at the 2016 Sitges Film Festival and screened now in the Shadow Shorts Competition program at this year’s Transilvania International Film Festival.

“Zona-84” tells the story of Carlos, or rather, Citizen-4780936-H, a young man who lives in a post-apocalyptic city of Barcelona, where big corporations have completely taken over the citizens, profiting from them and suppressing their fundamental rights. Carlos wants to be free and escape from this cruel and authoritarian regime and he will do everything it takes to succeed.

Based on the legendary comic “Zona-84” and backed by a number of anonymous patrons through the crowdfunding platform Verkami, Lonan García’s film is one of social criticism related to the abuse of power that controls the Earth’s essential resources of land, privatizing them for large institutions who profit from the people. Time and again, these resources are being privatized in order to allow big organizations to make money while putting people’s lives at risk. “Zona-84” starts with an introduction that uses real images of Spanish manifestations, a clever feat that makes the film’s statement all the more powerful. Its production values, especially the production and costume designs are to be lauded, as well as the cinematography, with its crisp, grey-toned lensing. As far as the acting is concerned, the cast give their characters a very theatrical touch, exaggerating the dialogues and showing easily the despair one may feel upon realizing they can’t do anything, that they have become used puppets.

“Zona-84” is an extremely well-crafted, detailed and necessary short film that awakens the minds of its viewers, leaving them, with its unexpected ending, to ponder on what they have just seen. Along with the other Spanish entry in the Shadow Shorts Competition, it is a testament of the strength of the current Spanish (horror) short film scene.




Production: Barcelona Freestyle Films (Spain 2016)

Director: Lonan García

Screenplay: Lonan García

Cast: Miquel Sitjar, Lloll Bertran, Anna Mulà, Jordi Royo, Anna Briansó, Pancho Marín, Jordi Garcia

 Color – 15 min.

Premiere: September 2016 (Sitges Film Festival)

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