Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 16, 2017. Initially, 64 deaths were reported by the authorities, but less than a year later, the figure had risen to 2,975. Many people died as a result of inadequate aid, and lack of water or power. At the same time, Puerto Rico was already struggling with another disaster: a debt of 72 billion dollars and the severe austerity imposed by the U.S.
Through glimpses of daily life, filmmaker Cecilia Aldarondo paints a multilayered portrait of the aftermath of these two disasters. The images are often intimate and even poetic, capturing the spirit of the people—be it a resident of San Juan describing how she had to flee her apartment during the hurricane, or the mass protests that eventually led to the corrupt governor’s resignation. At times Aldarondo also takes an observational perspective, like when filming a gathering of eccentric US bitcoin millionaires. Blockchain gurus see financial opportunities on the island, and so does a real estate agent selling expensive mansions.