Blanca Portillo has represented for the Telediario de TVE the role “of the year”, in the most literal sense. From the Teatro de La Comedia and in a special thirty-minute report, the actress has gotten into the skin of 2021 to summarize everything the world has experienced in the last 365 days and pass the witness to a 2022 which asks for more “empathy”.
“I’m 2021. It’s hard to define yourself. How have I been? A good, bad, average year? Probably, if I compare myself with 2020 I have been something better. If I compare myself to 2019 … worse. The measure of things is often given by that, positioning oneself ”, says the interpreter as soon as she gets on the stage of the theater and before going through the most relevant events of her” short life “: the vaccination against COVID, the assault on the United States Capitol, the return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan or the eruption of the La Palma volcano.
In the summary, devised by the journalist Carlos del Amor and baptized as 2021TD, Other faces linked to culture also appear, such as José Coronado, Antonio de La Torre, el Langui, Daniel Guzmán or Luis García Montero. It was broadcast this Friday, December 31, in the first edition of the Newscast at 3:00 p.m. and it will also be broadcast at 9:00 p.m.
Informative review, reflection and criticism as balance
This is the third time that the TVE Newscasts are committed to a balance in which a voice from the world of the performing arts joins the professionals of the news to close the year. In 2019 it was José Sacristán; in 2020, José Coronado; and, on this occasion, she is the winner of the Forqué award for best performance and a Goya candidate for her role in Maixabel, Blanca Portillo, who has agreed to give life to second year marked by the pandemic.
A year that, recalls the actress in her monologue, started “with shocks” and has ended with new allusions to the Greek alphabet. First alpha, then delta and now omicron: “I hope that it is not necessary to arrive at the omega”, says.
Between one date and the other, numerous highlightsSuch as the snowfalls brought by Filomena, the blockade by the ship stranded in the Suez Canal, the rises in the price of electricity or the migratory crisis in Ceuta.
“Half the world yearns for another way of living and that will continue to be one of the main problems in the years to come: inequality and injustice,” says the human version of 2021, which, when speaking of injustices, also refers to violence sexist.
In the actress’s summary, there is also no lack of space for some criticism, such as the one she launches at a society addicted to social networks that lives “in a continuous photo gallery” and does not notice environment: “It seems that you see it as a distant problem, something that you will not have to suffer and we are already suffering. If we continue like this we will really sing the ‘This is the end'”.
For this reason, the protagonist does not understand, she says, that there is races to travel to other worlds, “when in this there is so much to do”.
An intense year also for politics, sports and culture
The monologue continues with a review of the news from the political sphere, such as the dismissal of Pablo Iglesias as United Podemos leader and second vice president or the entry into force of the euthanasia law.
“They already told me 2019 and 2020 and all my ancestors that when it comes to recapping the word politics always appears, the one that should work to shorten distances and that should work to mark the passing of days. The lack of agreements, of rapprochement between one and the other it has been a constant. The one and the other, always like this; either with me or against me, with extremes that are too dangerous and with lines that should not be passed and passed, “he says.
After spending a few minutes on the importance of focusing on the mental health and prevent the spread of wave of suicides, Portillo alludes to the intense months that the world of sport has lived through, with the Olympic Games, the withdrawal of Pau Gasol or the departure of Leo Messi from Barcelona, and ends with an analysis of the cultural year.
The joy of going back to the theaters or concerts contrasts with what one feels before new absences that leave “the heart frozen”, like that of the writer Almudena Grandes, who died last November.
Her husband, the poet and director of the Instituto Cervantes, Luis Garcia Montero, appears on stage to dedicate the verses of the poem Absence is a form of winter.
A wish from 2021 to 2022: more empathy
Before ending, the 2021 incarnated in Portillo dedicates a short time to think about the purposes: “If I had to make a wish for you, a superpower, I would ask for empathy; it does not make you fly, it does not make you invisible, but it will help us to cope with the days to come, to put ourselves in each other’s shoes more often or next to each other, at least, and not in front. That would be a good purpose. “
The report closes with a visit by the actress to the sculpture that has Federico Garcia Lorca in the capital to tell the poet that, 85 years after he was shot after calling him a “fag”, they have killed a person again, shouting the same thing at him. It refers to Samuel, the young man who was killed in A Coruña last summer.
Despite everything, “there are many more people” on Federico’s side than on the side of “those who hate,” says Portillo, who ends up listening, in the middle of the street, to The Secrets and Nina. The hymn they sing also speaks of union: “Help me and I will have helped you, for today I have dreamed of another life, in another world, but by your side …”.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.