Paraguay Remembered

Memoria 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.

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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.

- Dominique Dubosc

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).