The pandemic fashion movie is Spanish. El Hoyo, by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, premiered in Spain last November, and in the two weeks it was on the bill, it raised 216,964 euros. The story he told, about a vertically arranged prison, with prisoners confined on hundreds of levels, one on top of the other, each dependent only on the food he gave to the one above to eat, resonated what resonated with the public . Three months later, the world is another. Almost a third of countries have imposed one form or another of social quarantine or distancing. Panic in supermarkets, where a weekly purchase can turn into bulky supplies, is noticeable in empty shelf shelves. And there is no clear end on the horizon.
In this new context, Netflix premiered El Hoyo. That was on March 20. A week later, it is the most viewed film not only in Spain but in several countries. Those poor wretches who wake up trapped and whose survival is decided exclusively according to the food left over from above are no longer so far from the average viewer. The Pit has another meaning.
Netflix does not offer viewing numbers or any other proof that this film is, in fact, the most viewed on its platform in the United States. But a good measure of the popularity of the title is found in the cultural impact that it has been leaving throughout this last week, both in social networks and in the international media that have turned to speak of it as the cinematographic phenomenon of the pandemic. “The moment and the circumstances have turned the plainness of the approach, as well as the total obviousness of its metaphors and its message, into its greatest force,” concedes The New York Times. “This movie is here to offer a catharsis (maybe). It allows us to look, therapeutically, at characters who embody our anger on the screen, and it so well underlines the anguish of being confined at home during a pandemic that will make you regurgitate stress, “writes Vulture, the magazine-speaker of the world’s cultural obsessions digital. Precisely on social networks are messages from viewers around the world: on Twitter, for example, watching El Hoyo has become a kind of provocation, to see who manages to hold on more and get more traumatized (a classically tweeting competition, on the other hand ). The meaning of its ending is also raging on the Internet.
The film is the first opera of Bilbao Gaztelu-Urrutia. Already in September it had the merit of being the first Spanish film to win the Sitges festival alone. She was also awarded the Audience Award from the Midnight Madness section, dedicated to fantasy and horror cinema, at the Toronto International Film Festival. That’s when Netflix decided to take over the distribution rights. A few months and a coronavirus later, history was made.