What has become of our capacity to be affected by how another person lives? What are the various “occupy” groups from around the world trying to tell us?
Making a commitment or joining a protest movement are not inborn human qualities but reactions that each and every one of us may have when confronted with a situation we live or discover via an individual, an organization or the media. Some of us, confronted by difficulties or hardship, feel defeated or overwhelmed. Others find means to fight back. In “I am NOT from Barcelona,” Alex is given the opportunity to join some of these resistors on a journey that exposes him to alternative views of the world and eventually will transform him.
Commitments may be born out of a need to rescue yourself or those close to you from an intolerable situation. They also might stem from a capacity to be outraged by a situation with no immediate impact on your life. Alex is twenty years old and like most of us, he is preoccupied with personal problems. Fortunately, he maintains a passion and a desire to live. Unsure of where to direct his energy, Alex, fully capable of being moved by his encounters with others and of being touched by what he discovers, finds an urgency to act growing within him.
But how, and in what, should he invest himself? How can a person opt for a certain form of activism and know that his or her choice is truly useful, not just another claim passed through a global information flux? Some situations simply appear too unjust or insurmountable, whether they stem from personal or social ills.
What are we willing to do, to create, in order to make change? Many people, young people around Alex’s age, live in an alternate world running parallel to Alex’s. They live in fear and with the awareness that it is impossible to create for themselves a brighter future because they are illegal immigrants, denied their rights and access to healthcare. And Alex, having spent too long waiting on the sidelines, can no longer ignore them.
Resolved to take on a contemporary issue, "I am NOT From Barcelona" invites you to experience with Alex the power contained in certain encounters. We introduce you to meet the activists, Olivia, Santiago, and Leo, and invite you to reflect on whether their actions are shortsighted or praiseworthy. And to follow them into the places they live and the alternative lifestyles they lead, either by choice or out of necessity.
I am NOT from Barcelona will screen at Bow Tie Chelsea Cinema on Friday, March 18 at 8pm.