Denise de La Rue revisits Guernica
A Cry for Peace renews the message so poignantly conveyed by Pablo Picasso’s antiwar masterpiece, Guernica, which Alejandro Escalona recently described as “a cultural icon that speaks to mankind not only against war but also of hope and peace.” This is the first time Succession Picasso and the State of Spain have authorised the use of Guernica in a contemporary art piece.
Set to an original score by Academy Award-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla, the film portrays a matador, performing the bullfighting dance against the backdrop of Picasso’s great mural.
Tauromaquia, the rituals of which closely parallel those of war, has had an unwavering presence across generations. Depicted in the film as an artistically reproduced battle with no opponent, it is contemporary, immediate and at one remove from the act of harm. Juxtaposed against an unflinching depiction of suffering, these two very different representations of battle create a dynamic meditation on the persistence of violence and the continuing devastation of war. Echoing the ideals set forth in the United Nations charter which aim “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” this film strives to combat indifference to human suffering and function as a protest for peace.