Monday, March 20, 2006

El tren de la memoria / Train of Memory (12A)

Marta Riibas & Ana Perez, 2005, Spain, (85 mins) Documentary

This documentary explores the experiences of Spanish migrant workers in Germany in the early 1960s. Victims both of Franco’s desire to eradicate signs of a poverty he refused to acknowledge, and of Germany’s need for cheap, easily exploitable labour, the workers themselves offer chilling parallels with the Nazis treatment of the Jews. Nothing really changes: the factories of Germany are still filled with foreign ‘guest-workers’; and lest we become too smug, we should recall recent British tabloid paranoia about ‘economic migrants’. A timely reminder of the human suffering - as well as the political motivation - that exist behind such sneering, hate-mongering headlines. Steve Balshaw

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