As has already become a custom, we’re kicking off a new week of Thursdays of Chilean Cinema with works that have marked our country’s cinema, blazing the trail to new filmic spaces through moving and passionate stories.
This week, it’s the turn of two films that invite us to rediscover our surroundings. The first is Hija by María Paz González, an autobiographical road movie, and About things that have happened to me by José Luis Torres Leiva, a short film that captures small moments of daily activities.
Hija is a first feature that premiered at BAFICI in 2011; a documentary that portrays a mother-daughter road trip in their search for an unknown family member. In 2,000 kilometers of highway, they confront their nagging inner questions and an exploration of their own ties, building the road toward their own self-discovery and acceptance. The film takes us on an excursion that is as physical as it is emotional, shedding light on the humor that exists in the narratives that we cling to in order to make sense of who we are.
The film included the participation of filmmaker Francisco Hervé, who carried out script and production labors in collaboration with Flor Rubina of Blume Producciones.
As a director, González intersects the creative world of documentary and fiction, direction, production, and writing. She has developed most of her work in the documentary field, producing Stealing Rodin by Cristóbal Valenzuela (2017); Space Journey by Carlos Araya (2019), and co-writing Night Vision by Carolina Moscoso (2019). She has recently forayed into fiction with Lina from Lima (2019), a musical-drama feature film, premiering at the latest edition of the Toronto Film Festival. In Chile, it won the Chilean Film competition at the 2019 Valdivia Film Festival.
In all of her work, she mixes genres to create original films, an author driven style composed of parallel universes that unite, creating hybrid, complex experiences, full of humor. Currently, González is developing Morir de pie, her second feature-length fiction, a project co-written with Alejandra Moffat.
Click here to watch HIJA
About things that have happened to me is a 13-minute fiction short film based on the book of the same name by writer Marcelo Matthey , a sort of journal where the writer stops to observe and reflect on very simple, quotidian things that cross our minds. This book from the late 80s marked the director’s vision of the world during that era, which led to various rereadings until he dared to adapt it to the audiovisual format.
Torres Leiva invites us to set out on a cinematic journey, where the listlessness of time stretches on, where sensorial details of the mundane envelope us, allowing us to see the world again in another way.
This work, produced by Catalina Vergara of Globo Rojo, was selected in the Zabaltegi Tabakalera section at the San Sebastián Film Festival, and it was the closing short film at the Valdivia Film Festival the same year.
José Luis Torres Leiva is a prolific director, screenwriter, and editor. He has done a significant number of feature films and shorts, fiction as well as documentary, that have had an important international trajectory. Just to name a few, there are The Sky, the Earth and the Rain, his first feature-length fiction, which premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2008; Summer, his second feature film that premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2011 in the Orizzonti section; and the documentary The Wind Knows I’m Coming Back Home, showing in 2016 at diverse festivals around the world such as those of Rotterdam and Cartagena.
The characteristic sensibility of his projects transmits an expansive empathy, creating an ode to the details, the silences, boredom, and dreaminess, showing us the possibilities of space-time that only cinema allows.
He is currently writing the screenplay for the fiction feature film Querida Vera (“Dear Vera”) and the documentary Cuando las nubes esconden la sombra.