Read in Catalan

Barcelona's In-Edit Festival is back with a 21st edition and sixty music documentaries that will once again put music in the spotlight. Among this year's productions, titles on artists such as Cindy Lauper, Pavement, Manolo Kabezabolo, The Redd Kross, Sexy Sadie, Little Richard, Nick Cave, Fatboy Slim, the 'Mákina' phenomenon, Pauline Oliveros and Dylan Carlson stand out, among many others. The city's annual date with musical docos will open this October 26th with the documentary Esta ambición desmedida, on C. Tangana, the creation of the album El Madrileño and his subsequent tour, and will last until November 5th at Cinemas Mooby Aribau. In addition, the programme for this music and celluloid binge-out will include live performances by Pete Doherty, the Gerhard Quartet and Rafael Riqueni. Here are some of the productions on the In-Edit programme:

In Edit 2023 slider

1. Let the Canary Sing

This documentary by Alison Ellwood focuses on one of the biggest pop stars of the 80s: Cyndi Lauper. From her humble origins in a Catholic Sicilian family in Queens and her first blues-rock group, Blue Angel, to the creation of her solo stage persona – eccentric, irreverent and calculatedly naïve – that catapulted her to fame in the new wave era with hits like Girls Just Want to Have Fun or She Bop (about female masturbation). A portrait of a figure who always stood up to the industry and who was a great feminist and LGBTQ+ rights activist.

2. Peter Doherty: Stranger in My Own Skin

Not only is Peter Doherty one of the faces of the In-Edit who will present a live performance, but he is also the star of the documentary that bears his name. Based on home videos and tour footage recorded over a decade by the singer's partner, Katia De Vidas, the production paints a stark portrait of The Libertines and Babyshambles frontman, arguably the most iconic voice of 2000s British indie-rock. Music, addiction and struggle come together in a movie that lasts 90 minutes.

3. Fernanda and Bernarda

Two sisters unknown to most, who share a common passion: cante, that is, flamenco song. Fernanda with the soleá form and Bernarda with bulería, these inseparable women were two of the greatest cantaoras that ever existed, representatives of the best cante. The documentary travels from Utrera to Madrid (with the emotional wound that this move caused for the family) and from there to the 1964 World's Fair in New York and the grand stages of Paris. And it puts the case for them to be considered as Aretha Franklin and Billie Holiday of Andalusia. Directed by Rocío Martín and with the participation of names such as José Mercé, Israel Fernández, Carmen Escribano or Tomasa Guerrero 'La Macanita'. 

Fernanda y Bernarda

4. Scream of My Blood: A Gogol Bordello Story

From the United States comes the biography of Eugene Hütz, leader of the gypsy punk group Gogol Bordello, who are the central axis of a film that is as musical as it is political in which the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and Soviet authoritarianism made the protagonist head for New York to play and put together a fully-fledged Balkan music group. The Russian invasion leads to the return to Ukraine for an artist aware that, no matter how much one emigrates and comes to feel stateless, one's roots end up knocking at the door.

5. Sempre Dharma

"Always Dharma": Aleix Barba Perarnau directs this documentary about the legendary Catalan band Companyia Elèctrica Dharma in the midst of preparing for their 50th anniversary concert. More than a group, a musical tribe of friends and siblings who knew how to fuse traditional Catalan music with jazz and rock in countless festa major performances at home, as well as around the world until they became an essential part of Catalonia's pop soundtrack. Intimacy, adventures and anecdotes in a production that mixes comedy, drama, emotion and perseverance.

Sempre Dharma 1

6. Fatboy Slim: Right Here, Right Now

Norman Cook, better known as Fatboy Slim, headlines this chronicle of the day when 250,000 people flooded Brighton beach for his free rave, Big Beach Boutique II. A good excuse to explore the music scene of his city, rewind through his career from being bass player of The Housemartins to superstar DJ and king of the big beat, and above all to recall that chaotic generational milestone that forever changed the management of major events in the UK.

7. MaQKina: Historia de una Subcultura

Music, emotion and sociology are mixed in a documentary that seeks to reclaim, explore and understand the phenomenon of Màkina music, from its beginnings in the Valencian scene to its emergence throughout the 90s in Catalonia. The documentary takes a walk through temples of the genre such as Psicódromo, Chasis, Pont Aeri or X-Què? where the genre wound up the BPMs, changing the 'q' in its original spelling for a 'k', generated a huge business and a youth subculture that was urban, working-class and, in the end- massive and threatening in the eyes of the authorities. Apart from this production, another one - Quien no se considere un buen makinero que abandone la sala - "Anyone not a good makinero please leave the room" - also reviews those musical years. Personalities such as journalists Joan Oleaque and Kiko Amat, djs Pastis & Buenri or Paco Pil, singer Marian Dacal and npromoter Vicente Pizcueta take part.

8. Have you got it yet? The story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd

Who was Syd Barrett? A documentary that revolves around this question, which aims to get closer than ever before to the figure of the singer and composer, and also the leader of the first Pink Floyd until his fragile mental health damaged by hallucinogenics forced him into decades of seclusion. A selection of voices try to decipher his talent and the dimension of the tragedy of an absolute icon of the counterculture of the late 60s and psychedelic rock. Among the names that collaborate are Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Pete Townshend.

Have You Got It Yet The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd

9. Manolo Kabezabolo

Manuel Méndez Lozano could be a fairly common Spanish name. But everything changes when you talk about Manolo Kabezabolo. Two names and two personalities turned into living history of Iberian punk through a mixture of psychotropic excesses and alcohol seasoned with an unmistakable nasal voice and a predisposition to mental health complications. The production collects the testimony of the singer, but also of other friends and musicians who narrate their memories to reconfigure his figure, such as Evaristo Páramos, Kutxi Romero, Albert Pla, Cristina Morales or Fernando Madina. Rebellion and counterculture in a documentary that focuses on this urban legend full of poetry and rage.

10. Little Richard: I am Everything

This proposal will close this year's In-Edit Festival and the protagonist will be Little Richard, "rock and roll architect, queer icon, apocalyptic preacher, Bible seller, dishwasher, wild pianist and visceral singer". All this and more was Richard Penniman. Friends, relatives, lovers, celebrities he inspired and an explosive archive of concerts and interviews make up a vibrant celebration of talent and an exploration of the mystery and conflicts of an artist who was better at liberating others than his own self.

Full festival programme in English: here.