Carlos is spending the summer in the country with his family in order to help out with things. Perhaps he won’t even be returning to the capital, as economic prospects are hardly rosy there either. Extremadura on the other hand, sparsely populated and for a long time one of the most neglected regions in Europe, is experiencing a tentative upturn. Tourism and modernisation rub shoulders with almost archaic customs and a conservative, mostly elderly population here. SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS depicts all this in casual, unobtrusive fashion, in images that have at times a truly otherworldly beauty. The central theme is the love story between the newly returned Carlos and the young policeman Juan. “You don’t look like you’re from here,” remarks Juan when they meet. “I’m not from here,“ replies Carlos, “I live in Madrid.” Whether to be from here or elsewhere is a decision that many here have to make. Extremadura, Madrid, maybe even Munich? This uncertainty suffuses their love story with a peculiar sense of tension before the backdrop of a seemingly relaxed, uneventful summer. It is only the old men striding through the austere landscape in their strange knight costumes who remain blissfully untroubled.
by Stefan Butzmühlen, Cristina Diz
with Raúl Godoy, Jaime Pedruelo