Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia gets its close-up in Swiss filmmaker Stefan Haupt’s Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation, a documentary making the theatrical rounds. The beloved basilica, Antoni Gaudí‘s French Gothic-meets-Art Nouveau fever-dream sand castle, is still in progress, its construction having been stalled by conflict (Spanish Civil War, World War I, World War II) and financial famine since it was commissioned by the Order of St. Joseph in 1882.
Sagrada, now playing at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, celebrates Gaudí’s vision and the ongoing work of laborers, artisans, designers and architects to complete the colossal project. Haupt envisioned the film as a biography of the building. “Just like human beings, buildings and artistic creations have their biography and their genesis,” he says. “They have an origin, ‘parents,’ a moment of creation and birth and then a life until they are accomplished—or destroyed—with a possible continuation in a modified form.”