Based on a story by Franz Kafka, The Hunger Artist undertakes to fast zealously in order to prove his skill for once and for all to the chief representatives of the region. The orderly who watches him is responsible for certifying these facts. Day by day he is surprised by the faster’s capacity for human resistance and artistic perfection.

Television shows exploitation and misery through the bodies of some men. The sight of them is the only way to make thoughts blush. The more famished they are, the more they are valued by viewers. A new art form is born like this, and with it its artists: the fasters. They live in far off countries and reveal sin to us. As with all art, masterpieces condemned beforehand. An irony that rests with honor on our heads.

Trailer  “La Piel de la Tierra”

Clip 1 “La Piel de la Tierra”

Clip 2 “La Piel de la Tierra”

Clip 3 “La Piel de la Tierra”

Clip 2 “El Artista del Hambre”


A young deserter undertakes to restore a bell. There is a belief that a certain musical note emitted from the bronze will chase away storms. It’s the only way to disperse the clouds in the sky so that God can see the war.


El País, 25th November 2005

Signs of Apocalypse

It’s very rare these days to come across a film that not only doesn’t hide, but makes religious cinema and the reflection on faith as an all-out fight against reality its main weapon and discourse. In that sense, this first feature film from a short film maker and solid craftsman, Manuel Fernández, must be valued for what it is: a film that goes against trends, against genres, and beyond any orthodoxy. An influence that doesn’t hide other influences (the Bergman of the early 60s, Lars von Trier and even Tarkovsky in his last films), but that deals excellently with its own discourse: yes, it is laden with solemnity and even pathos, but it is painfully coherent. And very respectable.

While talking about man in times of war, the film is part of a metaphorical tradition that has little tradition in our cinema, where what we have much more is the tear jerking, staunchly orthodox religious film rather than any proposal that presupposes that faith is something that is conquered day by day, and can be lost just as easily. Told with a steady hand, the film places its characters in a situation of greatest paradox for a believer: war as a plan of the divinity or as a perversion of men.

It is over this background, whose inspiration can be seen in the first shots (which reproduce one of the most cruel paintings by Bruegel the Elder, The Triumph of Death), and is a reflection on human fate and power, that Fernández draws a desolate picture. And the conclusion couldn’t be more terrible: I don’t know if the director shares the feeling expressed by Pope Benedict that these are times of boars ravaging the vines, but the film’s conclusion leaves little room for hope. One could object that at the end there seems to be a glimpse of something like an open destiny in the form of a newborn child; but there is no doubt that there is an inclement breath of apocalypse through the film.

Extract from ABC, 25th November 2005

More Bergman than Tarkovsky

…And the whole film is full of an atmosphere inspired by Kafka.

Nevertheless, the film’s existentialist approach is much closer to Bergman than to Tarkovsky. Tarkovsky talks about faith with a clear, unshakable experience. Bergman talks about faith as a conflict, with many doses of uncertainty. In fact, “La piel de la tierra” doesn’t talk about God, but about the different human theses about God. And none of them is definitive: it’s always problematic. (…)

Juan Orellana


“There is another war, the eternal misunderstanding between God and Man”


Clip 1 “El Artista del Hambre”




Director and writer of feature films and short films.