For years David Trueba had thought of a novel in which he gutted the political environment from the inside and put both politicians and journalists in the focus of his narrative darts. Through the fast-paced and funny story of the electoral campaign of a fictitious candidate (Amelia Tomás, “The woman you need “) the writer reflects on Dear children (Anagram) that great metaphor of the contemporary world that is politics. The title of this novel, which has just been published, refers to the term with which the protagonist defines the voters and Trueba acknowledges with regret that “unfortunately the voters are increasingly childish and manipulable.”
From that lucid and critical position that this writer and filmmaker has always displayed, Trueba points out in a conversation with eldiario.es: “Politics has gone from reflection to a point where representation is more important than essence. Absolute slaves of the image. I have tried in my novel to narrate a generic situation and therefore I am not talking about parties or specific and identifiable leaders. I was very concerned that the reader would not think that I put all parties in the same bag, but at the same time I did not want it to be a Manichean reading, left and right. I wanted to portray a great cynic through the protagonist, a journalist and image consultant, but I did not intend to make a cynical novel “.
We see to what extent democracy has converted moral values into sporting values
As in many of his novels, David Trueba uses humor as a scalpel for the events he narrates or the characters he describes. Thus, he applies nicknames such as Los Cuervos or Los Lobos to those undefined parties in his novel or defines candidates such as El Mastzando, La Cachorra or El Santo. The narrator himself, Basilio, a fat, alcoholic and very cynical journalist, goes by the nickname El Hipopótamo and is the opposite of what an honest informant should be. With a long career behind him as a novelist (Know how to lose, Blitz, Land of fields…), in addition to a recognized career as a film director (Soldiers of Salamis, Living is easy with your eyes closed…) and just turned 52, this Madrid intellectual affirms very seriously that “the only possible revolution is personal honesty”. “If we use the weapons of dishonesty,” he explains, “our values are perverted. Good causes can only be defended honestly. Dear children He also held citizens responsible for the shortcomings and shortcomings of our society. Politicians are not the only guilty because ordinary people cheat the Treasury or practice plugging with friends and family. I think that we Spaniards lack a step of maturity and we fall into justifying the mistakes of ours by criticizing the mistakes of others “.
Novel in stages, like La Vuelta
Just like i did in Farmland, his previous novel, the younger brother of the Trueba saga is served in Dear children of the technique of road movie (road film) to show the reader the interweaving of an electoral campaign in which a candidate travels through half of Spain accompanied by a small group of advisers and journalists who follow the caravan. In this way, the novel is set in a multitude of Spanish cities and a gallery of diverse characters parades through its pages, from local candidates to businessmen passing through the public at rallies or television interviewers. “The truth,” says Trueba, “is that the novel takes place in stages as if it were the cycling tour of Spain and thus we see to what extent democracy has converted moral values into sporting values. The only important thing is to win at any price. Now Well, those who win in politics must be aware that they have to govern for everyone and respect minorities. For all this, it is essential that controls work in a democracy, that is, Parliament, judges, the press … “.
The quality press is always an unsympathetic channel for the rulers and the powerful
In his novel Trueba, he is hopeless due to the lack of citizen preparation, of a democratic public education that allows voters to decide freely based on honest and serious information. “It is incredible”, affirms the author, “that in the last two decades everything is solved with simple and superficial slogans of the style of your country first or I give you freedom. That is why we have seen that Donald Trump ruled by tweet to avoid the uncomfortable press or that Isabel Díaz Ayuso gives lessons on freedom while violating rights. Here it should be remembered that the quality press is always an unsympathetic channel for the rulers and the powerful. ”
David Trueba also transfers his criticisms to the cinema and journalism, two sectors that this director, screenwriter and newspaper columnist of multiple registers knows very well, such as his admired Fernando Fernán-Gómez on whom he made a documentary. “In the cinema,” he says sadly, “there is no longer any debate or analysis of the films and the role of critics has become irrelevant. Right now there are more stories in the pink press about actors and actresses than interviews with directors while they are filming them. Large distributors invite journalists to the filming in luxury. As a producer friend points out, at present the best films are those that obtain the most money and for this the industry invests astronomical sums in marketing to promote their blockbusters. ”
In cinema there is no longer any debate or analysis of films and the role of critics has become irrelevant
He has been alternating films with novels for many years and points out that each project is usually associated in his head with a genre, either cinematographic or literary. David Trueba confesses that he finds pleasure in dedicating himself to these trades, including journalism, which he describes as “the first form of curiosity.” “Journalism”, he adds, “requires being in permanent contact with reality and that represents something basic for a creator. Rafael Azcona said that Italian cinema went to shit when its scriptwriters stopped using public transport.”