Director: Stefan Haupt
With: Jordi Bonet i Armengol, Etsuro Sotoo, Anna Huber
Sagrada begins by giving you the history of the cathedral and its original architect, Antoni Gaudi. The cathedral has been under construction in Barcelona for over 100 years, beginning in 1882, and it is currently half complete. We are then brought to the present with the introduction of the current architect, Jordi Boneti, as well as such artisans as sculptor Etsuro Sotoo. Through them we learn of their passion for the project, passion for their faith, and passion for Gaudi’s original intent.
We are academically introduced to the different areas of the cathedral and what they represent. We are also introduced to the present challenges facing the church: an underground subway extension that may weaken its foundation, a principal facade that was meant to be viewed across an open green space that now has apartment buildings in front of it because at one time in the past the city opened the land up for development.
But though we are given interesting bits of information and talking-head interviews of why certain people are involved, the documentary never connects with you. The experience of watching the film leaves you detached from the subject matter. You leave the theatre not really caring about what you saw. Sagrada also leaves you without crucial pieces of information. Though the church functions as a Roman Catholic Basilica, the Catholic Church is not paying for its construction. Where does the private financing come from? Why can’t we meet those people who care so much for its completion they give of their own funds to help make it end?
Also, whether you like its aesthetic or not, there is no denying the cathedral is architecturally interesting. Instead of giving us visually interesting ways of showing us the church, Haupt’s presentation is fairly pedestrian.
In the end, Sagrada is meant for only those with a great interest in Architecture. And even those audience members may have to stifle a yawn or two.
Grade = C-