In 1961, after being expelled from the monastery where he had entered seven years earlier, Justo Gallego bought a booklet of castles and cathedrals and prepared himself to pave five thousand square meters on an inherited plot of land. He was determined to build a Cathedral honoring the Virgin of Pilar. Coupling the asceticism and the moral rectitude of the monk to the imagination of the architect and the dexterity of a bricklayer, Justo, at 93 years old, is the living embodiment of an unconventional spiritual path. Often considered the madman of the town, Justo has invested the last sixty years of his life in this project, turning himself into an outsider. After a life marked by rejection, he deals with his existential concerns through work, a constant in his life that he has placed above worldly pleasures, since he sees the devil interwoven in the bad habits of a society that does not understand him .His unwavering faith and little more than a piece of dry bread a day have been the only things that his now near decaying body has needed to raise twenty-four domes and eight towers forty meters above the ground over the last sixty decades. Of a magnitude that takes one’s breath away, the Cathedral of Justo has been erected mostly with donated or recycled materials: wires, plastics, mountains of broken marble, sacks of cement and defective bricks from the neighbouring factory. It is a work of self-taught architecture, and in the eyes of some, a ruin under construction.
By his side, Angel, a former gunner, devout hunter addicted to risk and tobacco, has been helping him for more than twenty years. He lives with Justo in the Cathedral, building, feeding him and caring for his old-age needs. A figure that oscillates between sinner in search of redemption and a devout Christian, Angel is the heir assigned by Justo to finish the work.
The documentary portrays the day to day of this peculiar space in the outskirts of the big spanish capital. With strokes of surrealism, the story dives into the psyche of these two ambivalent characters that make up the bizarre microcosm of the “Cathedral of Faith”.
Built on the grounds of fervor and divine inspiration, the Cathedral is almost a miraculous delirium. As of today, it is lacking all the necessary regulations to be recognized and supported by the Catholic Church or the local Town Hall. This silent scream, embodied in the cement walls resonates in a multitude of directions: it is a space that hangs from a legal limbo waiting to be rescued one day as a future space of worship, it is a house, a self-managed tourist attraction and a magnanimous offering to God of a devotee who defies contemporary agnosticism.