The International Short Film Festival of Belo Horizonte this year presents special exhibitions constructed from documentary films which devote their attention and imagination either to poor biographies - brief characters and occasionally interpreted in their lives, caught in motion of the contingent intensity of the film which receives them - , or to the transformations of urban landscape, the different assignments of meaning given to urban spaces by those who inhabit them effectively.
We realize that here is not to "give voice to another", or think people will voice themselves more properly. And yet, the movies seem willing to suggest one or another range of action and intervention of the people filmed within the parameters of their own scenario - which seems healthy. Thus, they approach family, old unknown, with caution and curiosity. Or they risk themselves to the exposure of daily lives of anonymous ones vaguely recognized by the city. At another point, it is again a historical question: blacks, these foreign newcomers from Africa, would work in this land or where would they return to? Cinema, after all, does not tell us how to easily locate ourselves in this imaginary mapping throughout an urban game of disorientation, signs that flash on and off, and a beautiful desert to be crossed by hungry caravans again.
Here are some movies that are dedicated to investigate human geographies, shared space-time coordinates, memory ballasts. These are investigations of subjective cities, mental maps, traces of affection. In the cities, the cinema hears voices. A whole rumor: - in this place, everything has been said very fast, here love was made, here expensive charges were made, there when the only thing to do was to leave. We hear it will be forever impossible to reconstruct the experience lived in this space, once invested with affection. The films are short and they seem, therefore, willing to forgo totalizing treatments. But even armed with few resources against the disappearance of things, they want to point out to outside of the film, after the film, when they may continue to be thought of, felt, and remembered. After the showing of a film, it calls us – here was there a good meeting with the world through the film?
But how to film a meeting? How to film a meeting and restore it in the briefness of a film? In the midst of their distinct formal propositions, some filmmakers asked for some coordinates from people filmed, others shy away and avoid eye contact. Some collect their remains and pay attention to rumors - whispers, papers thrown away or set aside, a letter kept for decades, only now re-read with surprise. Others say that there is disagreement.
Affonso Uchoa, Bruno Vasconcelos, Gracie Santos & Ricardo Alves Jr.
Selection Committee – Brazilian Short Films