Catalan director José Luis Guerín's illuminating essay on his wonderful 2001 film 'Work in Progress' (original title 'En Construcción'). The film charts, in semi-documentary fashion, the demolition of a century-old building in the Barrio Chino, Barcelona's old red-light disctrict, and its replacement by a block of modern apartments. It examines the old working-class history of the neighbourhood and its inhabitants and their flight in the face of encroaching gentrification. The film focuses on neighbours and labourers in sympathetic but unsentimental detail and Guerín had the remarkable good fortune for the builders to happen upon a sixth-century burial site during their excavations. The essay stands up without having seen the film but is naturally less interesting for that. The film is highly recommended, should you ever have the chance to see it.
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