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The Spanish couple who have lived in an abandoned village for 45 years

Jessica Jones · 6 Nov 2015, 11:24

Published: 06 Nov 2015 11:24 GMT+01:00

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The streets are silent except for the squawk of chickens and the purring of cats; there have long been more animal inhabitants than humans in La Estrella, an abandoned village in Spain.

A beautiful short film has revealed the unusual daily routine of Juan Martín and Sinforosa Colomer - "The Last Two" - who are now the sole inhabitants of the village, nestled among the green hills of the province of Teruel.

Screen shot: The Last Two/Aeon Video

"We’ve been alone for 45 years," says Juan Martín at the beginning of the short film, made by Jungles in Paris and directed by David Beltrán and Mari and Angello Faccini.

"I met her one day when she was bringing the cattle in from the fields," the old man says, recalling the first time he met his wife.

Juan Martín recalls another world, when the village was bustling and "there were two taverns and dancing at the weekends".

He started work aged six as a goat herd, taking charge of "30 to 40 goats". After spending three years as a servant in a farmhouse, he began working the fields, a job he has done ever since.

Screen shot: The Last Two/Aeon Video

There used to be 200 people living in the village, including teachers, a mayor, sheriff and a priest, but these days only the Colomers remain.

Young Spaniards have been leaving the country’s small towns and villages for years, hoping to find work in the cities, leaving behind an ageing population.

The Colomers spend their days cleaning, cooking and tending to the land, where they grow grains and vegetables.

Screen shot: The Last Two/Aeon Video

While some people would think their life was idyllic, it has been a hard time for the couple.

"Our daughter died when she was 12," Juan Martín says. "An embolism in her head. An artery burst... She would be 48 now."

"Had it been up to me we would have left the town a long time ago," explains Juan Martín, who has stayed because his wife refused to leave the town in which she was born.

"I can’t leave her by herself, what else can we do?"

You can watch the full film on Aeon Video.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jessica Jones (jessica.jones@thelocal.com)

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