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Young Cinema Competition 2012
Pablo's Winter

Once a miner, now a grumpy pensioner and professional chain-smoker, Pablo is supposed to give up nicotine. The end of a working life, carefully arranged and full of quirky humour.

Pablo's Winter

Documentary Film
76 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Juan Alberto Navazo
Julian Schwanitz
Nick Gibbon
A “story of nicotine and mercury” is what Chico Pereira calls this film in which he portrays the end of a working life and a region. For 2000 years, mercury was mined underground in the Spanish city of Almadén, the director’s hometown. Then, in 2011, a EU-wide ban on the resource marked the end of a proud culture of miners. The pensioner and chain smoker Pablo was one of them. Now he spends his days watching television, grumbling to his wife and producing billows of smoke. What’s left when the jobs are gone, the doctor forbids one to smoke on top of that and one has no idea what to make of the lifetime gained? When all that’s left in the end is a name in a yellowing file and a notebook full of memories of heroic labour disputes, fretwork classes in the pensioners’ club or a dance on Valentine’s Day just won’t do the trick. Carefully framed and arranged like a feature film and yet deeply authentic, the black and white scenes (camera: Julian Schwanitz, Golden Dove Short Film 2011), tell the story of a new beginning in the midst of decline with some cautious humour. There is an element of utopia in the old man’s almost fairytale-like encounter with the boy Jaime. At the end the miners’ choir appeals to their patron saint, Barbara. But she is no longer responsible for Almadén. Only Pablo is left to hold the fort – and smoke.

Grit Lemke

Awarded with a Honorary Mention in the Young Cinema Competition and the Healthy Workplaces Film Award 2012