Director: Pablo Garcia Sanz | Script: Patricio Lynch, Carla Stagno, Paula del Fierro | Cast: Cristina Borreguero Beltrán (herself), María Isabel del Val (herself), Geoffrey Parker (herself), Claudia Möller Recondo (herself), Salvador Rus Rufinoo (herself), and others | Time to play: 84 minutes | Year: 2022
commoners it is about the citizens of Castile who rebelled against Carlos I in Spain in 1521 (Comuneros means insurgents). Carlos I became the leader after he inherited the land without knowing what it was really like there, because he had not grown up there. So the foundation of his reign started off a bit rocky. This documentary describes how other things led to the uprising and how these factors come together. Furthermore, speaking scientists give interpretation to several of these events and eventually relate them to the present.
This documentary consists of many elements. Not only are the experts speaking, as in most documentaries, but beautifully crafted animations and intertitles are also used. And with a somewhat pretentious voice-over, which returns several times to comment poetically while beautiful images of Castile are presented to the viewer. In addition to the animations, landscape images, and talking heads, there are recordings of paintings and other museum pieces that are meant to illustrate the story.
For this reason, the documentary does not feel like a well-thought-out whole, but rather like a bit of everything. With the game time being just under an hour and a half, all the complications rush by at lightning speed. Especially at first, the flood of names and information is overwhelming. This makes it easier to let your mind wander, making it even more difficult to absorb the information. In a way, it’s just a slightly more spiced high school history lesson. Despite some charming attempts, it never really comes to life.
Due to the successful animations, quite abstract and each time predominantly in a certain color palette, orange, blue or purple, you almost wish that the filmmakers had abandoned the idea of a documentary and simply opted for a visual narration of the story. Now, a documentary has the advantage that historians also provide an additional interpretation. For example, they explain why the situation may or may not look like a revolution, but the low playing time also prevents depth. The moment it begins to fascinate, it’s time for the next topic.
soon, commoners It’s a pretty cute documentary that shows a visual flair with the animations, but also takes too much hay with all the different embellishments it wants to add. Due to the lack of overview and short playing time, he can’t keep his attention well.
commoners can be seen in Netflix.