Producer-Director: Eve A. Ma
Starring: Antonio de la Malena
Language:Spanish, with English subtitles
Length: 62 min
Date of Completion: May 2014
Date of World Release: June 2014
Date of American Release: Jan. 2015
Domino is a dramatic narrative about Luis, a middle-aged family man in southern Spain who is caught up in the economic crisis. He lost his job shortly before the downturn, when his employer closed down the business. Now Luis can’t find a new job due to the constrained economy. Although his financial situation is growing desperate, he is still trying to find a way out.
In our narrative, we watch Luis as he searches for the answer to his problems. At moments, a solution seems just around the corner, but when he turns that corner, we see that the answer is not there. We watch as he interacts with his family, trying to protect them from the impending disaster. And we see him at the end, when he realizes that there really is no way out for him.
DIRECTOR´S VISION STATEMENT
We saw how devastating the economic crisis of 2008 was for individuals. Tens of thousands of people lost their jobs, their homes, and found themselves laboring under debts that seem impossible for them ever to pay. Middle-aged people with family obligations were among those hardest hit, but even today, as the gap between rich and poor grows larger and college students are saddled by immense debts, the legacy of that crisis lingers on.
I spend a good part of each year in Spain, where the difficulties are particularly pronounced and the crisis remains in effect. This inspired me to make this dramatic narrative telling the story of Luis, a fictional Spaniard who is living on the financial edge. Luis lost his job shortly before the economic downturn, and has gone deeply into debt. The film follows Luis as he tries to care for his family and find his way through this impossible situation.
THE IMPETUS behind the making of Domino
I have been dividing my time between California and southern Spain for several years, starting before the economic crisis began. I have watched as Spain has sunk deeper and deeper into the abyss of economic troubles. I have watched my friends, who once supported themselves with their talents and ready willingness to work, now struggling to find a job. Furthermore if they get a job and do their work, they are frequently not paid, but are promised payment “in a few months” by cash strapped employers and local government agencies. This is a disaster and I find it deeply distressing.
When I return to California, I find a similar situation. The high levels of unemployment, and the crisis in real estate in which thousands of people are losing their homes are a reflection of what is happening in Spain.
As we well know, the current economic crisis is having a disastrous effect on much of the world. The story of Luis is both a story of Spain and a reflection of what is going on in most of Europe, as well as in the United States and many other countries. My sympathy with those people hardest hit is my reason for making Domino, and I dedicate my work to them.
We shot “Domino” in Spain using exclusively Spanish actors and crew. Southern Spain has perhaps more ethnic diversity that other parts of the country, and many of our actors and crew are Gypsies (gitanos), while others are Castillano (white) Spaniards.
We shot this work in Spanish, but we are also presenting a version to the English-language audience with subtitles in English. For our locations, we chose very typical locations in the city of Jerez de la Frontera, in Andalucia, located south of Sevilla and north of Cadiz. We have grounded it in Spanish culture. The story and the situation, however, are readily understandable to an American audience.