Isabelle Tollenaere, Liesbeth De Ceulaer, Sofie Benoot

IndieLisboa 2020 •

Belgium, Documentary, 2020, 71′

In the Mojave Desert lies the unfinished city of California, planned in the sixties to receive thousands of inhabitants, like Los Angeles or San Diego. Today, in the middle of empty streets, the city has a few more than 10000 thousand people. The trio of Belgian directors follows these new pioneers, that look for new beginnings, telling about their experiences, giving names to streets or making long walking journeys of exploration of the space.

At a certain point in Victoria, its protagonist Lashay T. Warren films himself in front of a busted pipe in the street, gushing water. In the image he captures, at a certain point, he is able to find a rainbow and tells us: “look at a bad thing you can still get a rainbow”. This could well be the motto of this chronicler of desolation, a new pioneer, who in 2016 went to live with his family to Cal City. Today it is an unfinished city in the middle of the desert, because the plan made in the sixties to transform that place in a residence for thousands of people was abandoned. Warren and his work colleagues use their phones as compasses to identify the streets and keep the tracks clean. Visits to L.A. are now only made through Google Maps. The directors Benoot, De Ceulaer and Tollenaere aim to reflect on the subtle processes of racial and spatial segregation, but also on the creative potential of a space of which we are discoverers. (Carlos Natálio)