Monot. The documentary

The Monot is the totemic object around which Anna Lloret articulates her entire project of approaching the tradition of elver fishing in the El Perellonet gola. The study of its forms, its textures, its uses and the deep relationship with the daily life of its people constitutes the main leitmotif of “MONOT: El Perellonet”. On this basis, at La Posta Foundation we understood that we could contribute to resizing the project, giving it a transversal and interdisciplinary perspective, and for this we thought of contributing the production of an audiovisual work that would help momentarily move visitors to our room in full center of Valencia to that landscape of El Perellonet.

The young filmmaker from Elche Andrea Alborch, with her clean, curious, daring and respectful gaze, has managed to exceed expectations with the making of this essay-documentary short film that we now make available on our website. His debut feature “Seventeen and a half”, made as the final project of the Degree in Audiovisual Communication at the Miguel Hernández University, used a slow, simple and markedly generational realistic fiction language, which has earned her his entry into the “Short Films Comunitat Valenciana 2022” of the IVC [Valencian Institute of Cinematography] and its admission to the Cinema Jove and Filmadrid festivals. The passage, therefore, from the fictionalized reality of her first short to the auteur documentary of this second piece, has been a natural transition in which the director demonstrates not only technical solvency but also an admirable capacity for communicative empathy and passionate immersion in the phenomenon to portray.

Alborch brings us closer to the reality of the fishermen of El Perellonet, living with them during several of their working days, to articulate a story in which she takes us into the slow but rhythmic passage of time in a night of fishing with a monot. We discover both the prose and the poetry of this profession from observation but not from interference, challenging the principles of mainstream documentary ―omitting talking heads, voiceovers or any extra-diegetic cinematographic resource―, although recovering principles of foundational documentary cinema of figures like Vertov or Ruttmann. Although Alborch handles more recent references and is inspired by young authors whose clean look is overwhelmingly filled with exquisite soundscapes, as is the case of Oscar Vicentelli in his work “O Tremor” (2015) or Lois Patiño in “Costa da Morte” (2013).

The soundscape of La Gola is, therefore, a fundamental character in this narration, since it would also inevitably become the soundtrack of the exhibition, the background noise that would definitively transport visitors from the bustling city to the fishing village. The involvement of the sound artist Edu Comelles has been fundamental in the process, for his work side by side with Alborch in the immersion process and for his final sound montage, halfway between soundscape and cinematographic sound design. The process of immersing him and recording these particular sounds of fishing has also served to be included in the sound archive of the Valencian Museum of Ethnology, as part of a project that Comelles himself directs.

Alborch and Comelles finally take us into that daily chore of fishermen without giving up the beauty of the landscape, but avoiding sublimating it with an imposed romanticism. Andrea’s camera observes the beauty, but it doesn’t dwell too much on it, she prefers to direct his gaze to those corners that a mannerist filmmaker would avoid. With this, she manages to humanize the process, prevent anything from being left out of the field, put a face and a voice to the fishermen, who assume the leading role above the landscape, who are observed by a furtive gaze but at the same time it does not seem to bother them in the least, aware that whoever watches ―filmmaker or viewer― is ready to become part of the family.

Damià Jordà

MONOT

Audiovisual work made by Andrea Alborch, included in the exhibition “Monot, El Perellonet” by Ana Lloret, exhibited at La Posta Foundation between April 28 and June 4, 2022.

Andrea Alborch – Direction, recording and editing.

Edu Comelles – Sound design

Damià Jordà – Production

Ana Lloret – Co-production

With the collaboration of the Fishermen’s Guild of El Perellonet (Valencia)

Related links:

Monot. El Perellonet

Of riggings and monuments or about the “Monot” by Ana Lloret

El Perellonet, the “monot” ant the transfer of knowledge