Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘Magaluf Ghost Town’

Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘Magaluf Ghost Town’

Director Miguel Ángel Blanca’s latest project is a sleek documentary. It combines both historical and fictional elements to dive deep into a notorious tourist location.

At the height of the summer tourist season, the Spanish beach town Magaluf turns into a hell scape for the low-cost travel industry. For eight weeks every year, over one million mostly British vacationers come to drink and party. This leads to some of the visitors jumping from balconies and doing other questionable activities.

What is great about the feature is how it manages to balance two completely different tones so well. It can go from being shocking and mysterious to playful at a moment’s notice. None of the transitions in tone feel out of place or distracting. Even much of the music feels like it comes from a horror film. 

The film’s night scenes show the city as one, big, crazy party. It shows people having a blast in the city streets. People partying on gorgeous European beaches, playing loud music. Flashing neon lights from glowsticks that many of the tourists are wearing. During the day it’s a completely different picture, showing evidence of all the chaos that occurred from the night before. There’s garbage all over the city streets, and some of the local small shops are destroyed. There’s even blood splatter on the sidewalks.  

Some of the main characters throughout are Ruben and Olga. Ruben is a young student who wants to leave the island and become a famous model. He spends most of his time taking and posing for photos. Meanwhile, Olga is a Russian realtor selling houses. She plans to clean up Magaluf and hopefully turn it into a luxuriously elegant resort.

With an exotic location being accompanied by an interesting story, Magaluf Ghost Town is an engaging watch.

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Daniel Neil is a developing young writer from the cold city of Calgary. To escape the climate he indulges in a love for films, novels, and comic books. He has a passion for Social Studies and pop culture, and is pursuing new media production. In his spare time he participates in model UN and Av club, managing AV for school events and assemblies, and organized a film fundraiser to raise money for veterans.
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