If they build it, people will wait.
SAGRADA: THE MYSTERY OF CREATION (Stefan Haupt). 89 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (June 28) at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. For times, see listings. Rating: NNN
The Sagrada Familia is a massive, impossibly ornate church smack in the middle of Barcelona. Designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí in the 1870s, construction began in 1882; it has continued, intermittently, ever since. There is no end in sight.
Swiss documentarian Stefan Haupt's Sagrada: The Mystery Of Creation considers the Sagrada Familia in the context of history, significance and faith. It's a contemplative, deliberately paced examination of every element of the project - and, yes, that means it's slow.
Haupt's documentary won't win any prizes for spellbinding narrative, but it does make a crucial connection between the religious conviction that drives believers to erect massive houses of worship and the current project managers' faith that this immense undertaking will be completed - though perhaps not in their lifetimes.
Glimpsed in photographs and the occasional quote, Gaudí, who died in 1926 - having moved into the church full-time - gradually emerges as a sort of architectural prophet, a driven visionary whose designs aren't fully understood even by the people executing them.
As one engineer points out, they still don't know what materials are intended to be used in the building of certain spires; they're just sure they'll figure it out when the time comes.
Here's hoping we're all still around to see that.