The Golden Temple

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The Golden Temple

original title:

The Golden Temple

directed by:

set design:

Stefano Croci, Sophie Westerlind


Caucaso Factory, Aplysia, Nordeste





film run:



DCP/16mm - colour

aspect ratio:



Ready (27/07/2012)

festivals & awards:

As a kid trying to fill the sea with infinite sand, a titanic and apocalyptic need, to understand the Olympics process. That process was going on in London, where I moved to live, just when the virus was growing. To approach a massive collective event, in the heart of capitalism, like a urban odissey started by the colonial heritage to the beginning of digital primitives.
“We want the bid”, stated the slogan to win the right to host the Olympics against Paris. London has won because it proclaimed the access to children and to the community as a priority. And because the Olympics would have favoured the process of social regeneration of the area. The so-called Regeneration.
Stratford. An imposing construction site cordoned off, the place from which the new Olympic Village will raise. Not far away, empty and deserted buildings stands like ghosts of 22 floors, part of the big social housing complexes. Osita, a Nigerian who lives at the 17º floor, was offered 110.000£ but he declined the offer. To move out he wants to get paid more, “we’re looking for a better deal”.
Victoria Park. Behind the stadium, upon a canal where the community of London Boaters lives, we met Mike. In 2007 they have demolished the house where he lived at Clay’s Lane, Leyton area, eastern side of the Olympic area. The Council reallocated him. Like him, other 400 people. “Operations like this come at a price, besides the symbolic value for a capitalistic society of demolishing an alternative system of life”, says Mike. Today Mike, on board of his old-fashioned boat, named Willow, waits to know his destiny.
Somewhere in East London. A typical terraced house, with a blue gate and a white fence. Sue is an Olympic guide, she leaves home and a neighbour asks her if there are still tickets for the Olympics. Sue answers that just a few were sold in their area because they are too expensive. “… Olympics are a great opportunity, in my lifetime“.
Westfield. The shopping mall is dipped into an artificial island a few steps away from the Olympic Village under construction. During the Olympics, it will be the major turnout for the public. We discuss it with John, that we meet inside the shopping mall while a security guard orders us to turn off the camera. “The Olympics will be gone after two weeks from the beginning”, says John. He has travelled as an entrepreneur for a long time all over the world and he states to believe in capitalism. “7 hours of holy wrestling for divine change”, that’s what is written on a leaflet handed out to us from one of the many evangelists that crowds the shopping mall. Apostle Ben, of Ghanaian origin, dressed with a camouflage uniform, preaches with guerrilla pitches a never-ending prayer, while a group of believers joins in chorus. “More pray, more power. Less pray, less power. No pray, no power.”, Apostle Ben tells us. “Olympics are a small thing in the divine perspective, we just use them because there’s a lot of human traffic outside the shopping mall“.
Hackney Wick. Rosie, a lady on her fifties, a second generation Italian immigrant, owner of a “Home cooked/pastry“, a family-run fast food located in a sensible area. It seems she will be forcing to close down during the whole duration of the Olympics. Closing for “security reasons”. Perhaps because the image she might offer, as for the London Boaters and the ones who live in the housing projects, and the vendors in their stands at Stratford Underground Station, doesn’t fit with the one of the Olympics. In front of her shop there’s a massive sign saying: “10.000 vacancies for security service”. In their place there will be built vending stands managed by the most known chains, in line with the image of the Olympics. Caffè Nero, Costa, Pret a Manger and Starbucks. Let the regeneration begin.