In the wake of Spain's great heterodox films and filmmakers, Lejos de los árboles revolves around an anti-tourism trip through Spain and its wild popular festivals, a country that at that time was beginning to offer itself up to the world as, supposedly, a place opening up to modernity; a reality that Jacinto Esteva questions with the same fascination as he does when depicting a country ravaged by poverty, superstition and fiercely rural, as well as urban, traditions.
A vision affected by the cruel shadow of our history, and yet on which he still breathes a breath of strange hope: one linking the world of the ancestral with the artistic embodiment of a somber beauty. There are other worlds, but they are in this one, said Paul Èluard, and Jacinto Esteva corroborates it here cinematographically.
DocumentaMadrid Artistic co-director
Architect, painter, writer and hunter, Jacinto Esteva was much more than just a filmmaker [...]. Esteva first got behind the camera with a background in painting and architecture. After filmmaking and tired of forcing viewers to watch his images, he would return to his pencils and brushes [...].
His films shot during the first half of the sixties are the documentaries: Notes sur l'émigration. Espagne 1960, Autour des salines and Lejos de los árboles. His poetic period, beginning in 1966 with ties to the Barcelona School, includes Dante no es únicamente severo, Después del diluvio, Metamorfosis and El hijo de María. In 1971 when he shot what would be his last fiction feature film, Esteva had already discovered that the African continent was a space of infinite freedom. There he rediscovered ancestral rites, the cult of death and the brutality exerted against animals and the people he had already filmed in the dark Spain of Lejos de los árboles. The result is chaotic and partly-missing footage that was meant for two unfinished projects and that nobody has managed to edit together [...].