For the last 3 weeks I’ve been totally out of business as I was travelling in the country where I was born : Chile. Actually that was the 3rd time ever that I have been walking over that South American ground. For the history, I was born like many ones in Santiago and like many ones my family left the country in the agitated 80’s. I came back for a first visit 20 years ago, as a teenager to see what the country and family were about. Now, in 2013, I went back with my own family to show them where I come from and this time the locals could check what I am about.
Pilgrimage, vacations, family time or just a time off, everything was possible upfront….and all of it happened, at different times, but definitely in the less expected moments.
I won’t enter the personal details and the family side of the trip ; like I wrote initially the purpose of the blog is the update people on my work and to share the thoughts that are related to it. And on this, I have to say the trip stroke me in a total unexpected area (this sounds like when you are hurt by a ball in an unprotected zone…so was the surprise I believe).
When leaving Europe to South America, I was in a “stand by” mode : waiting for the movie to go on with shooting, waiting for the details of the trip to get fixed, waiting for 2013 calendar to get clearer waiting for collaborators calls, in a word : teasing my patience and my motivation in many different fields. We often face this in our profession, as we cannot work 360 days per year, even more when you are a director and not a technician.
So was it , my bag full of pending matters I arrived to a country I cherish , to a place where no matter if I live far from it or don’t see often, I just feel like any other local. But what I didn’t expect, is how much this visit was needed to counterbalance the swiss documentary project. Indeed the major risk when you are the main producer and director, is to keep your eyes on the microscope of the location / topic / society you are shooting and to forget about the healthy step back to make sure you are still looking at the right things and with a fresh gaze.
So for the last 6 months was my attention totally focused onto this little village in the middle of a small region of a not large canton belonging to a center point country of a medium-sized continent…and to go 14.000km away from it to a large continent in a super long country into largely crowded cities…well it has been the perfect counterbalance. As well it gave me the patience I was missing early Jan and surprisingly is when being away that most of all the answers I was looking for popped up !
Last but not least, I finally understood why Europeans travel all over the globe to shoot movies about situations that are so far away from their everyday’s : it is the easiest way to not get stuck into loosing your criticism about facts, and this is where one truth hurts me ; I am a local in South America, I am a local in Europe, I am pretty much of a local in North America. Following the logic I should go and make movies in Asia or Africa (I remember feeling home in the Indian Ocean…)?
Well, I am afraid I would feel pretty much like at home all around the globe. But I know that this particularism is giving my work a special tone, where everybody is equally treated.
Now time to go back to the green pastures and my beloved childhood village ! Let’s continue to paint the world !