YIDFF 2003 International Competition
Fuente Álamo—The Caress of Time
An Interview with Pablo García

I Wanted to Film the Simple Passage of Time

Q: This film felt very warm and soothing. It prompted a feeling of nostalgia and intimacy with the people who appear in it, and made me remember the things I’d wanted to treasure in my own life. Thank you for a wonderful film. How did you encounter the village of Fuente Alamo?

PG: Rather than saying that I encountered this village, it’s probably more appropriate to say the people from the village found me. This is because I lived in Fuente Álamo as a child. It is revealed in the film, but this is where my grandmother lives and where my father grew up. Even after moving to Barcelona, I spent almost all of my vacations at Fuente Alamo and visited frequently.

Q: So that must be why you were able to establish a natural relationship of trust. The images are very natural and don’t make you aware of the camera, and the people being filmed also appear to be very relaxed. How did you select the people who are appear in the film?

PG: I followed the connections of people I’d known since childhood and their circle of friends. I think that’s the reason for the naturalness of the filming. Because they all trust each other.

Q: Your biography mentions that you’ve studied directing and screenwriting and worked as a director of photography for feature films. So why did you select the documentary format for your own first work?

PG: This work isn’t purely a documentary. It also has aspects of feature film. I was filming everyday life just as it is, but I also specifically requested people to do certain things. For example, I asked people to eat sunflower seeds, etc. . . .

I had been involved with filming documentaries, not only feature films. I think there are things in Fuente Álamo that are now in the process of being lost—things that should not be lost. Instead of deciding on a particular theme, I merely filmed the natural passage of disinterested time. These people have conflicts and problems in their lives, but I didn’t tread into these areas. Life is about those things too, but I was interested in filming the simple passage of time as it flows past us.

Q: I understand that you spent 7 years bringing this work to completion . . .

PG: This is because making a movie is a tough thing to do . . . A lot of this was because of financial difficulties. I showed the footage at a lot of different places, but until I met Luis (Executive Producer Luis Miñarro) there wasn’t any place that would take up the piece. When I planned the film, I’d decided it would be a tale about a single day, but in reality the filming took 3 years.

Coming to this festival has made me realize again that there are so many wonderful films that I’d like more people to be able to see, and I think there should be more opportunities for these films to reach a larger audience.

(Compiled by Masuya Shoko)

Interviewers: Masuya Shoko, Sonobe Mamiko / Interpreter: Hoshino Yayoi
Photography: Sonobe Mamiko / Video: Kato Takanobu / 2003-10-11