'Anti-riot', the Spanish series of the year: hosts, instructions for use

'Anti-riot', the Spanish series of the year: hosts, instructions for use

Rodrigo Sorogoyen presents at the San Sebastián Festival an X-ray of violence, public and private, from the daily lives of seven policemen

'Anti-riot', the Spanish series of the year: hosts, instructions for use

Ethology, or part of it, maintains that man, like the hippopotamus or the howler monkey, is aggressive not so much by nature, but also by hormonal imperative. Blame it on Darwin. Let's say aggressiveness is a phylogenetically adaptive factor. In other words, it is an impulse for survival that we always have in ' on ' and that must be continually appeased. The others, besides being hell, make us very angry. And hence the need for the rules of civility, the greeting, the caresses, the smile without coming to mind … Call them appeasement behaviors. But what happens when things get out of hand and there is no way to stop the demands of evolutionary theory? Indeed, here, the riot gear, those of a lifetime.

Rodrigo Sorogoyen , with the complicity of his head scriptwriter Isabel Peña , and the enthusiastic and very brilliant collaboration of seven violently vein actors ( Vicky Luengo -in the first and foremost place- Raúl Arévalo, Álex García, Roberto Álamo, Hovik Keuchkerian , Raúl Prieto and Patrick Criado ) have decided to lend face, eyes, motivations and even family to the eternally bad. The idea is to portray in its almost hormonal clarity that impulse that ethologists talk about and that affects us all. But doing it, and there the success and risk, from day to day, night to night, of those who have made that instinct their profession. That the word body is used to designate them as a group cannot be by chance.

Movistar's 'Antidisturbios' series presented at the San Sebastián Film Festival and delivered in six comfortable one-hour installments gives voice to those who are always caricatures; to that brigade by special force of the police without a face, with the face always hidden behind the helmet. Those who are always the target of insults. “That is what attracted us, the challenge of working against precisely the stigma of the villain and the challenge of making a series that someone could assume about men and testosterone (although later it is not like that) in the days of MeToo. They asked: 'But are you going to dare to put them right?' Well, so good or so bad where each one puts the limit of their responsibility. They are part of this society, “the director and scriptwriter chorus commented.

The series adjusts perfectly to the demands of cinema as understood by the director of 'May God forgive us ' and ' The kingdom' . Not so much from ' Mother '. Once again, the camera struggles to cancel out the blind spot, the hidden, and runs nervous, agile and organic between the bodies and the body. And so on until composing a precise mobile photo of which the viewer ends up being part. If you look at them all at once, which is always an option, you can clearly see the evolution of a staging that starts a few millimeters from the faces and ends up much more aware of itself and its surroundings. In the metaphor goes the sense. Let's say that the journey towards the revelation that the characters live is the same that Sorogoyen proposes in a true display of nerve, maturity and, already put, genius.

Peña says that the idea was to avoid the easy tricks of the series to use (let's say the famous recurring ' cliffhangers ' or the reiteration of situations). “When you write a ' thriller ' for the big screen, the plot forces many times to eliminate the details of the characters. Now they are the protagonists,” he says. For Sorogoyen, the difference between one universe and another, cinema and television, is one of structure or development. But the first impulse, which is the one that counts, does not change. “The approach is identical and, in fact, the priority is always to provoke the viewer by making him part of the plot and showing him what is generally in the shadows,” he explains.

' Anti-riot ' starts in an eviction with an accidental death, which in reality is not so much. Few are. They are almost always the consequence of something that does not work. From there, the plot forks over and over again until it traces both the temporary corruptions of the system (great the portrait of the policeman who so much resembles our Villarejo of all the sauces) and its structural deficiencies. And furthermore, the doubts reach the very basic error that conditions everything: Does the very conception of a police always exposed and converted almost by definition into a public and perennial image of pure violence make sense?

What you see is controversial because the reality is. “All the unions function regularly: journalists, health workers , scriptwriters … And the one in riot control as well. And that is worrying because the raw material of their work is violence,” says Peña. Sorogoyen explains all the previous work of conversations and coexistence with the agents and, among everything that has been said, he does not hesitate to find some of them who served as models. “One of the policemen we met, a good guy, was the one who gave the key to one of the phrases in the series. The one in which Arévalo's character explains his motivation to do what he does: feel useful. But there is everything. There are those who seek adrenaline because they have just come out of a divorce or those who like the idea of traveling … We do not judge, but let each one draw their conclusions “ , says the director.

And that is precisely what it is about: to get a little scared with the conclusions. As it did in ' The kingdom ', reality nurtures each frame until it directly infects them all. The capacity of the series to place the viewer's gaze within the labyrinth of intrigue ends up approaching not so much the state of hypnosis as that of dependency. If we add to the aggressiveness that it distills that it also hooks, we are facing what we could call a series, which is not drugs, lasts. In the end, there is no choice but to deal with the fact that we are aggressive monkeys and that everything depends on the need to channel, mitigate and manage the violence that consumes us and determines us. The best Spanish series of the year.

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