When he was a child, Marc Recha went to the rerun cinemas in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat. On those Saturday afternoons in the 70s he fell in love with the seventh art in general and Western movies in particular. As an adult, he decided to dedicate himself to cinema and gave his films a very particular intimate touch.
But now, past 50, the director has decided to pay tribute to those films from his childhood with Ruta Salvatge, a Western that takes place neither in the Colorado Canyon nor in the deserts of Utah, but in the (in principle peaceful) valley. of Cerdanya.
“It is no coincidence that Ruta Salvatge was filmed in Cerdanya, because my brother lives there and it is a beloved landscape, which also has some of the elements typical of Western cinema, the mountains that surround the valley, the horses and that touch border”, which was never missing in the films of John Ford, Howard Hawks, Clint Eastwood or Sergio Leone.
In those old and timeless westerns there were always some bad guys who did their thing armed to the teeth. And so begins Ruta Salvatge – which today hits Spanish screens – with the appearance of two Serbian jewel thieves, played by Sergej Trifunovic and Boris Isakovic, and his dying girlfriend in a quiet river in Cerdanya.
Gary Cooper was left alone in the face of danger (Fred Zinnemann, 1952) when Ian MacDonald was released from prison and decided to return to Hadleyville to take revenge on the sheriff who caught him. Here it is Montse Germán, the gardener of a small town in Cerdanya, who will have to face the villains almost alone.
Recha has opted for Westerns, but she has not forgotten that particular touch of her cinema and that is why Ruta Salvatge also has “a human dimension, because the emergence into Ona's life of the Serbian gunmen will have consequences on the relationship between the two. woman with her son, Sergi.”
The idea of entering the world of the West, outlaws and the relationships between parents and children did not arise overnight. “I started thinking about this film in 2010 after the birth of my son, Roc, because I imagined it as a teenager,” explains Recha in an interview with La Vanguardia.
Sergi is the teenager from Ruta Salvatge and “represents an open window to hope, because I am very confident that the young people of today will open the doors to adults in the future and that is why this film is an ode to life.”
“It also seemed like a good vehicle to talk about personal relationships, about how we are and how we manage emotions, something that we sometimes do wrong. The film pivots on these fundamentals,” he adds.
And Ona is quite alone, but not as much as Gary Cooper, because in addition to Sergi and the boy's girlfriend, she has the support of a lifelong friend, played by Sergi López, and another friend of new mint, played by Marc Martínez. The protagonist of Ruta Salvatge will be forced to manage her relationship with her son, but also with her friends and at the same time face a past that she had tried to bury.
It is no small thing, but for all this he will have another unexpected ally at his side, the natural environment: “With my own and very personal look, I have introduced the element of trees that look at silence, because nature also conditions the characters ”says Recha.
And he adds that “the human being needs to create a story, a lie, because nature is a perfect machine and thanks to that story we perceive nature as art and beauty, which makes our lives more pleasant.”
Whether it's a lie or not, the beauty of Cerdanya photographed by Recha is one of the great features of Wild Route, the Catalan western.