City of the Dead

City of the Dead

Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 2:30pm
Monday, May 6, 2019 - 9:00pm
Miguel Eek
56 minutes

A fierce look at the banality of death. In Palma de Mallorca, there lies a dense multi-level cemetery city, an overwhelming palace of winding catacombs, crypts, and gravestones, piled as high as the eye can see. Inside the gates, mourners intertwine with gardeners, coroners, casket hawkers, and even some itinerant beer drinkers who take refuge in the endless haunted hallways. Intimate snippets of life show us the daily grind of the modern funeral industry, satisfying every morbid curiosity. Existential water cooler talk and gallows humour is standard for cemetery workers as they prepare bodies and remove old caskets from tombs, while playfully discussing the afterlife, armageddon, and the benefits of cremation. Director Miguel Eek asks us to abandon sentimentality in order to ponder the more functional aspects of death.

The cemetery itself is beautifully captured at a slow pace, allowing us to absorb the spectacular scenery of this dizzying maze where bereavement occurs but the dead live on. As you’d expect from a film about funerals, City of the Dead is brimming with flowers, memories, prayers, and grief. But what it demonstrates most elegantly is that it’s the person who sweeps up, trims hedges, or pulls a rib cage out of a fresh corpse that truly allows the circle of life to continue. Overall, the unsettling ease with which death is handled makes us question our importance in the universe. Not for the faint of heart. -MJ


Miguel Eek

Born in Madrid (1982), Miguel Eek is graduated in Direction by the ESCAC (School of Cinema and Audiovisual of Catalonia). He has also studied television production at the Archena Polytechnic University in Helsinki. Miguel has combined his activity as director of creative documentaries with the direction of fiction series such as “Món Llull” or “Mossen Capellà”. He began his career as a short filmmaker, among which “Cuatro horas de gas” stands out. Miguel is a member of ACIB, Association of Filmmakers of the Balearic Islands.