• Golden Globe Awards

The Platform (Spain)

“There are three kinds of people: the ones above, the ones below, and the ones who fall”, says the actor who serves as a lead as well as narrator at the beginning of The Platform. He is speaking to his cell-mate, where the two are imprisoned in a large tower-style building, a vertical prison with one cell per floor, with two occupants per cell. There is only one platform from which food is dispensed once a day, located at the very top. The way it works is that the food is dropped down for two minutes. This, clearly, cannot feed all the inmates. The further down one is, the less food he gets (In some cases, no food). Given that it’s a prison, the inmates on the top levels find a way to “recycle” their portions.
The prison is accurately called ‘The Hole’. What seems clear is that director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia whose debut feature this is, really wants to be the next Guillermo del Toro whose own career began in the Sci-Fi-horror genre. The original title in Spanish is El Hoyo.
The film explores the social themes of the haves and have-nots. Goreng begins his journey on floor 48, with still a chance to garner some slabs of food. But the evil game here is that prisoners are randomly forced to change floors once a month: one could be living in nutritional luxury on floor 5 one month and die of starvation on floor 140 the next. The film is a scathing parable about societal greed – if the upper floor occupants would not take so much, there would be plenty left for the ones living below. It is a gory and sometimes difficult watch. In an interview the director said he doesn’t have a message as such.
“It’s up to all of us … It depends on whether we want to remain the most miserable species that have ever set foot on this planet or not. This is a social self-criticism. I don’t feel authorized at all to tell anyone what to do. The film only aspires to expose, not to indoctrinate or to lecture. And, of course, there are many who do what they have to do, but most of us spent the day looking for excuses“, said Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia.