The Poets Visit Juana Bignozzi

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The Poets Visit Juana Bignozzi

Las poetas visitan a Juana Bignozzi
Laura Citarella, Mercedes Halfon
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
90 minutes
English, German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Laura Citarella
Mercedes Halfon
Ingrid Pokropek
Inés Duacastella
Agustín Mendilaharzu
Miguel de Zuviría
Alejo Moguillansky
Valeria Fernández
Marcos Canosa

A poet’s life ends and a film begins to carry on her legacy, prosaically at first. When Juana Bignozzi dies in 2015, the intellectual property rights to her work pass to the young author Mercedes Halfon – as the aged lady had decreed. But Mercedes also inherits a refrigerator and a lot of junk that must be cleared out of the orphaned apartment in Buenos Aires. Together with young filmmakers, she transforms the duty into a poetically fulfilling project.

The result is not only an unusual but actually a non-portrait of a poet – and perhaps not even a result. Rather, it is a continuously growing equation of superimposed faces, texts and images that refuses to simply work out. They look at each other as if in rear-view mirrors: Juana Bignozzi, who speaks to the young from her writings full of humble reverence, and her young female admirers who, reading, filming and browsing through Bignozzi’s legacy, feel almost embarrassed by these declarations of love. What confidence the deceased had in them! What tremendous expectations she had of those whose mother or grandmother she could have been! Their own poetic achievements seem too half-hearted to Mercedes and Laura to ever live up to such advance praise. But even as they doubt, they are already deep into it.
Sylvia Görke
Nominated for Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
Family Ties
Poetry and Crossing Boundaries
Redistribution and Having a Say
Small Worlds, Big People
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