In a couple there are always potholes”. But on the horizon of Helena and Iván there is no disappointment. Life smiles at you. They are expecting their first child. And they have made the big decision to change their lives: moving from the city to the country. Iván and Helena are going to leave behind the traffic jams, the smoke, the haste and the urban bad mood to settle in the Empordà farmhouse that she has inherited and enjoy the peace of the rural world.
The protagonists of Suro "believed themselves winners, but there were cracks in the couple that made their appearance after the move," explains Pol López, the actor who gives life to Iván in the film, Mikel Gurrea's debut feature, which competed in the official section at the San Sebastián Festival and which today reaches Spanish screens.
Little by little a tension is generated between the members of the couple that “causes the appearance of deep differences”. The marriage does not coincide in their conception of that country life. Iván wants to reform the farmhouse keeping its spirit, its antiquity. Helena intends to turn the house into a modernity with straight lines and a lot of clarity with all the possible comforts including the pool.
But the architectural differences are only the tip of the iceberg of what will lead to a couple crisis. Because marriage immediately delves into issues of greater importance. Determined to live from the extraction of cork, the hiring of the operators provokes a new discussion. He plans to go through the legal route and sign up a team of local collectors. She opts for a group made up largely of immigrants whose fees are lower because they are paid in the black.
“In the passes that we have done with the public, there are always spectators who are supporters of Iván and others who go with Helena. It's funny because the film gets the viewer to put his life experience in Suro since, after all, almost all of us have experienced those moments when a couple stops understanding each other. Anyone can feel identified”, explains Vicky Luengo, who plays Helena, in a talk with La Vanguardia.
The destruction of the couple's relationship runs parallel to "micro-politics such as class consciousness, racism or machismo, because Suro also speaks of a masculinity that is difficult to bear from the moment Helena becomes the boss of seven well-to-do uncles. seasoned people who have been working together without outside interference for a long time”, adds the actress.
Meanwhile, López emphasizes "the contradictions" that his character suffers because of the situation: "Iván believes in the community, but when he takes charge of the business he has no choice but to resort to principles that until now he rejected as the of authority or hierarchy.
Although Mikel Gurrea, the director of the film, is Basque and the film was produced thanks to help from the Tabakalera Residence in Donostia, Suro is a Catalan film spoken in Catalan that adds to the good harvest this year that started with Alcarràs, another rural film directed by Carla Simón, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale last February.
Gurrea and López, who have been friends for a long time, filled the tedium of confinement "with improvisations." Later, the director, based in Barcelona, developed the entire script. Luengo joined at the last moment and the team moved to a farmhouse in Darnius where some cork collectors from the area were incorporated who, although they do not play it themselves, do have the physique and knowledge of this type of worker.
They were 24 days of filming that were rewarded with the selection for the official section of the San Sebastian Festival. "It makes no sense to focus on nominations and awards, and even less on a film made with more love than money," said Luengo last week during an interview with La Vanguardia. But the interpreter was rewarded yesterday with a Goya nomination for best actress for her role as Helena. And Gurrea is a candidate for the award for best new director.