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March 20, 2009 | by  | in Film | [ssba]


Lucio is a fascinating documentary about an anarchist bricklayer called Lucio Urtubia,who devoted his life working against those in corrupt power. Lucio follows this radical’s life surrounding many significant revolutionary events in the mid to late 20th century, from his humble Northern Spanish beginnings in the midst of the Spanish Civil War, his recruitment into the Spanish Military from which he deserted and fled to France, his presence in Paris during the May 1968 riots and his involvement with the Cuban Revolution. Lucio also took part in numerous bank robberies—not for his own monetary gain but to fund the revolutionary fight against the corrupt capitalist systems in power. He also gave the majority of the earnings to those in oppression (whom he considered need of it), earning him the title of a modern-day Robin Hood.

Through his involvement in anarchist guerrilla groups, Lucio helped to take down Franco’s fascist regime, was involved with Che Guevara, was actively supportive of Castro and the Cuban Revolution, assisted in organising the kidnapping of Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie from hideout in Bolivia, and aided the escape of a Black Panther from the United States. Not surprisingly, Lucio was ultimately targeted by the CIA and spent time in prison. Despite this, his most significant and successful accomplishment was forging US$20 million of Citibank travellers’ cheques, which he used to support guerrilla groups in Latin America, meanwhile ruining the reputation of America’s global giant Citibank. Lucio played a role in all of these incredible events, yet never missed a day of work in his bricklaying job.

Co-directors Jose Maria Goenaga and Aitor Arregi have used an extensive range of mediums to create this captivating and convincing documentary. Using actual footage and testimonies from Lucio’s associates, family members and from Lucio himself, a seemingly accurate retelling of events is portrayed. This is presented along with archival footage of significant events surrounding Lucio’s life and also includes some credible reenactments. An example of Goenaga and Arregi’s unique cinematic style is reflected during the opening credits in a close up of a printing press stamping money, evidence that Lucio is not just a well made documentary, but an epic story of a revolutionary figure worthy of acknowledgment.

Directed and by Aitor Arregi and Jose Maria Goenaga
With Lucio Urtubia, Roland Dumas, Antonio Martin as themselves. Ramon Agirre
Lucio makes its NZ premiere is in the2009 Documentary Film Festival.


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