Blowing Up Mountains in the Shape of Rabbits

El día que volaron la montaña

By Alba Bresolí

Written by Alba Bresolí

Produced by Polar Star Films

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Balthasar Guallar (55 years) and his brothers Félix (51) and Evaristo (57) are the only inhabitants of Escó, a village that appears on the map as “abandoned”.

In 1959, 6 years before the brothers were born, Escó´s inhabitants and those of surrounding villages were forced to abandon their homes. Intent on modernizing the country, Franco's regime expropriated the village to make way for the construction of a giant reservoir. More than 1500 people were displaced and 2400 hectors of fertile land flooded.

The Guallar family was the only family that refused to abandon their house and livestock. By 1966, when all three brothers were born, the reservoir was full, but did not reach the village. However, Escó was already in ruins, the solitary Guallar family its only residents.

Today the three brothers continue to live in the same family house, sharing the bedroom that was assigned to them as children. They graze their sheep and, in the evenings, they watch television, their portal to the outside world. Despite their self-imposed isolation, they remain high-spirited, eager to share a laugh and with a deep appreciation of the natural world around them.

Like his father before him, Balthasar is an accomplished shepherd. Of the three brothers, he is also the most isolated; he has no personal relationships beyond his family and only leaves the parameters of Escó to graze his herd.

The Guallars are happy in the village they call home, and have no plans to leave. However, they may not have a choice. The construction of a motorway to the Pyrenees is scheduled for completion at the end of 2021. It will cut through Escó and divide the family´s home from the barn where their livestock live.

The continuity of the Guallars rural life is uncertain, as is the future of the curious world theyhave created for themselves within the crumbling walls of Escó. What is the destiny of the brothers and the place that, once again, is under threat of disappearing? 

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  • Documentary
  • +12
  • Digital 5.1
  • Colour
  • 4 K