Paraguay RememberedMemoria desmemoriada
FRANCE / 2015 / French, Spanish / Color, B&W / DCP / 89 min
Director, Script, Photography, Sound, Narration: Dominique Dubosc
Editing: Dominique Dubosc, Bernard Josse
Music: José Asuncion Flores, Perez Paralta
Producer: Danielle Gloag
Production Company and World Sales: Kinofilm
A documentary filmmaker returns to Paraguay for the first time in forty years. Fragments of once-forgotten memories rise up during his journey. Recalling how Paraguay had set him on the path to filmmaking, his memories take him back to a romantic encounter with a woman in Argentina. Incidents of oppression under dictatorship are intertwined with his private recollections. The past is found mirrored in the landscape of the present. This is a personal filmic poem about incomplete memories, woven together through black and white images, and a contemplative voiceover.
[Director’s Statement] Most people cross the shadow line marking the end of early youth in the aftermath of their studies, with their first job or marriage. As for me, I crossed the line when I made my first film in Paraguay in 1968 and when I discovered love a few months later in Argentina.
It is this forgotten period of my life—and what I never forgot about Stroessner’s and Videla’s terrible dictatorships—that came back to me forty years later, while I filmed at random, during the Asuncion film festival where I was invited.
I can say I had no intention to make this film: anyway, I could never have imagined it. It all came out from vivid impressions that I kept shooting, and looked like a series of haïkus (The river is getting lower, the camalote’s leaves are no more / Rising first the elder son crosses himself while scratching his armpit). Speaking of my motivation, this is the only one I had at first, and it still works in the film to show where I am (here and now). Of course, many of these
impressions had something to do with the years I spent in Paraguay and Buenos Aires long ago (In the springtime of my memory, like white sharks, the airplanes of death / Hens and chickens take refuge on a tree: by then thousands didn’t make it / Sleeping together in the house on stilts, summer went down the river), and so, a drawing started to emerge from my rushes. Although the love story was present from the beginning, it was only during the last stage of the editing that I was able to thread it throughout the film.
Born in China in 1941. Educated in France and England. He directed, Lip or the Sense of Working Together (1976), The Filmmaker or Novel of a Childhood (1989), The Letter that Was Never Written (1990), Celebrations (2000), and Palestine Remembered (2002–04).