Omar Razzak is a filmmaker of Syrian origin from the Canary Islands, trained in Paris and Montreal at the Les films du Requin and Les films de l’isle production companies, and in Madrid where he studied Audiovisual Communication (UCM) and obtained a Master’s Degree in Film Creation and Management (URJC). In addition to having years of experience mainly as a documentary and fiction producer (The inflated jungle (2015), Double me (2018), Stockholm (2013) and Oscuro y Lucientes (2018), as a director and screenwriter he has released two feature length films: Paradiso (2013), winner of the Rizoma Award and The calm tempest (2016), selected by EURODOC, IBERDOC. In 2017 he was selected for Talents at the Berlinale and invited to the XFilms Project at Punto de Vista Festival, as well as the Biennale College Cinema in Venice. Killing crabs, selected by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón to participate in the SGAE Foundation’s 6th Laboratorio de Escritura de Guion (Screenplay Writing Lab) is his fiction feature debut.
Manuel Arango studied audiovisual filmmaking at the CEV School and film production at ECAM. After years of work in the industry as a line producer and production manager for national short films and productions, he found his place in the documentary sector as an executive producer and production manager, creating international productions like This is Football (Netflix – 2019), Corresponsales de Guerra Contra El Cáncer De Mama (2018) (winner of the Bronze Lion Award at the Cannes international Festival and 5 awards at the SOL Festival, 2 of them Gold – 2018) or Oscuro y Lucientes (Feature length film directed by Samuel Alarcón, co-produced by TVE, ICAA, CAM, Región de Aquitania and France3 – 2018). He is currently a partner and executive producer at Tourmalet Films.
In the Canary Islands, houses used to be made in caves, just a few yards from the sea. They were built by the first to arrive. Now it turns out that these dwellings aren’t legal. Or at least, that’s the rumor that’s going around town. Two of its elderly inhabitants are contending with this situation in different ways: Nieves tries to fight for what she considers to be hers and Ceferino waits with resignation for the expropriation to take place.
Only one man lives in the neighboring village: Nino, his brother. He is a poor, hermit-like drunk, who only talks to animals and, every now and then, with his niece and nephew, Rayco and Sara. One stormy day his cave-house plummets down beneath the cliff’s rocks, and after being rescued, they discover he’s deaf: he won’t be able to go out fishing anymore and someone will have to look after him. Summer comes to an end and the children return to their parents on the nearby island. But now having learned how to kill crabs.
On 2 April 2004 I went to the screening of Dream of light (1992). Following a discussion with its director Víctor Erice I went over to speak to him. I told him that I intended to film a day in the life of a practically inexistent town and asked for his advice. You’re going to have to invent that day – he told me. Fifteen years have gone by and I’ve approached the town on numerous occasions. Now it has finally begun to exist, and it is Killing crabs.
Killing crabs is a hybrid between fiction and documentary, but what makes this film special is the Canary Island idiosyncrasy itself. A voice with very little onscreen representation, a unique world closer to Latin America Latina than to Europe in many ways and, maybe because of just that, an exotic and more attractive imaginary for the European audience. Because, although it’s made in Spain, Killing crabs is cinema at the periphery.