Film Archive

Focus Latin America 2012
Daughter María Paz González

A mother and a daughter on a trip across Chile. One of them is looking for her lost sister, the other for the truth about her father. A quiet, intense road movie.

Daughter

Documentary Film
Chile
2011
83 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Flor Rubina, Chile Doc; Franciso Hervé, Maria Paz Gonzáles
María Paz González
Fernando Milagros
David Bravo
Brian Jacobs, Danielle Fillios
Francisco Hervé, María Paz González
Juan Pablo Manríquez
A mother and daughter travel across Chile in search of their identity. While the mother wants to learn about the fate of her vanished sister, the daughter, director María Paz González, wants to find out the truth about her biological father at last. On their 2000 km journey the two women are forced to confront each other– and their stories and illusions, deceptions and lies.
María Paz González embarks on a frank and courageous quest for her true origins and real father, who is bound to exist somewhere behind her mother’s florid stories. In her documentary road movie, “journey” also refers to a movement in time and an approach to the truth. Gradually the insecurities and simmering conflicts between the two women give way to a feeling of attachment, making room for humour, intimacy and honest exchange. As in many road movies, the question whether the initial goal of the journey will be reached is beside the point. The stillness of the images and the silence between the women suggest that they have bonded.

– Paulo de Carvalho

The Last Station

Documentary Film
Chile,
Germany
2012
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Catalina Vergara, Catalina Vergara Films/Globo Rojo; Co-Producer: Philip Gröning/Philip Gröning Filmproduktion
Cristian Soto, Catalina Vergara
The older you get the smaller your radius of movement, the slower everything you do. Time seems to crawl. Every errand is an effort and a tiny last rebellion against a leaden and inexorable death settling on the landscape in autumn colours. Mortality is concealed in everything you do: there are fewer and fewer names in your address book, the body sets new limits with each new operation and even the television programme only makes you sleepy. And yet this loss brings a benefit: everything becomes meaningful. It could be the last time. The two young Chilean filmmakers Christian Soto and Catalina Vergara portray the inhabitants of the Padre Hurtado retirement home from up close and with great empathy. They choreograph this floating existence between life and death in picturesque dark tableaux vivants and fluid lighting. Their images insist on the moment of pause, of immersion, taking up the rhythm of slowness and transforming it into poetry. They have the courage to take a step back from reality and construct a third place in the tradition of magic realism which tells us what it’s like to be not quite here and not yet there. There is a lot of beauty in that, and the recognition that it can relieve our fear of death for a moment.
– Cornelia Klauß
Focus Latin America 2012
The Lifeguard Maite Alberdi

Two lifeguards, two attitudes. The tumultuous life on a beach as a microcosm of Chilean society – pushing the boundaries of the documentary.

The Lifeguard

Documentary Film
Chile
2011
64 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Paola Castilla, Errante Productions
Maite Alberdi
Pablo Valdés
Alejandro Fernández
Maite Alberdi, Sebastián Brahm
Mario Puerto, Roberto Espinoza
In the early morning, Mauricio the lifeguard meticulously prepares for his job. It’s quiet now, but soon crowds of people will take the beach by storm. Mauricio himself avoids entering the water. Instead he tirelessly tries to enforce order and safety regulations on the beach. His motto is “prevention is better than rescue”. His colleague Jean Pierre has quite a different idea of the job. Prevention, responsibility, or maybe even dedication don’t seem to be his strong suit. He’s late, lives for the day and has a fondness for flinging his muscular body into the waves – after all, there is always an audience. One job and two attitudes. But who will be there when a swimmer really gets in trouble in the Pacific surf?
This rich, poignant and funny film is the remarkable debut of director Maite Alberdi, who pushes the boundaries of the documentary as she compresses the tumultuous life on this holiday beach into a microcosm of Chilean society. What seems a light summer film at first glance ultimately raises universal issues of freedom, guilt, and responsibility.

– Paulo de Carvalho