July 27, 2021

Lucrecia Martel: "The next ultra-right can be worse than Nazism" | Culture

Lucrecia Martel: "The next ultra-right can be worse than Nazism" | Culture

Boca Juniors players entered the field of La Bombonera to dispute the final of the Copa Libertadores against River Plate when Lucrecia Martel (1966, Salta) arrived at the Hermitage Hotel in Mar del Plata surrounded by his collaborators. The songs of encouragement of the xeneizes – "I follow you everywhere, each time I love you more" – that resounded on television on Sunday seemed here dedicated to the Argentinean director, one of the most admired of Latin American cinema. "Are we already on the schedule?" Asks Martel, unaware of the party that has paralyzed the country. "That's why there was no one anywhere," laughs the director of The swamp, The holy girl, The woman without a head Y Zama. It is one of the stars invited to 33 Mar del Plata Film Festival, where he will give a class on sound and film.

Intermixed languages, whispers, sounds of nature, overlapping and unfinished phrases are part of the sound landscape of Martel's filmography. "I can not conceive sound as a thing that sticks to the image, but the sound was the way to cheat and take the pressure out of education and see things that you want to try to see," it starts in the interview. In Zama, the film adaptation of Antonio Di Benedetto's novel of the same name, the sound presence is the protagonist of several scenes of great poetic strength. In the previous ones, there are also dialogues in which the culture of northern Argentina appears "where the conversation, the story, the rodeo is something that you notice a lot in everyday speech".

Salta, the northwest city where he was born and lived until he was 19 years old, is part of what Argentina it is known as the interior, as opposed to Buenos Aires, a structure of center versus periphery that was already present in the colonial era portrayed in Zama. "Our countries still have an imprint of the colony so strong that they are configured with a pole of production, of trade, of administrative decisions and then the rest that grows to the good of God." That colonial structure, which looks at how many years we have been, 500, it has not been possible to modify or only very slightly, our colonial past is so present in the decisions that are made after independence, they even sharpened some things, "says Martel.

"The status of the Indian, for example, during the Spanish colony had more benefits and laws that protected it than after independence, then almost disappeared the condition of being indigenous, was like a citizen who did not really count for political life or economic situation and the lands that were theirs become fiscal.The whole situation of the indigenous world worsens after independence.In this country we blame the countries that colonized us and we have invented that mythology of the heroes of the 19th century when In fact, the only thing we did was to legitimize a huge exclusion matrix, "he adds.

Question. Why do Argentines tend to deny their indigenous roots?

Answer. This good link of intellectual communication with the European metropolises meant that this country can not conceive itself from here, but with a kind of superficial adaptation of European ideas. In the north, although it is not recognized, it is so strong that you feel it in the food, in the popular festivities, but Buenos Aires is like a city that begins at the beginning of the 20th century and the administration sees the communities as a problem and not part of diversity. The proof of how the colonial model was legitimized or how it got worse is the current situation of the indigenous peoples and of all the conflicts around the earth.

P. The cacique Javier Chocobar was killed in one of those conflicts over the ownership of the land. What led you to want to record a documentary about this crime?

R. First because the four minutes before he is murdered are filmed by the owner of the field. You see the preparation for that crime and I questioned the use of the image by someone who is armed. That in addition to the camera has a revolver. And as I researched more I tried to recognize that white reason that was imposed on this continent and that has not done any good. I tried to recognize how that is articulated in the language, in the creation of images, in the theatrical apparatus of a trial. Although luckily (the assassins) were condemned, everything that happened in the trial had many disrespect towards the people of the community. We have a profound inequality in the culture and a lack of vision about the other.

P. How does he live as a filmmaker with the current moment in which we all record everything that happens around us?

R. It is very interesting What other moment of humanity was so portrayed? From the most intimate things, that you can find in any page of pornography, to the most trivial and the most solemn. What happens is that technology allowed a hypernarrativity to a portion of society that expanded a little, but the sector that was under-represented now disappears completely. And there is a situation that worries me a lot. The hypersativity is mainly through cell phones and those who have access to backapear will keep the registry, but in the communities or in the poorest places nobody has a hard drive. While I make this documentary and go to the hills looking for the ranchitos to see if they have photos, I have more possibilities to find photos of the 40s, of the 20s, when having a photo was an important record for the family, that now , that young people think they have things but they are erased and nobody goes backapeando.

P. Like many other Argentine actresses, she was involved in the campaign to legalize abortion. How did you live those months of debate and rejection in the Senate?

R. The feeling that women have of not being alone for me is unprecedented, it never happened to me in my life. And yet the other side learned to organize through networks and for me it is on the rise. It is overwhelming what is happening in the world, the resurgence of the extreme right, I see it in all the countries I go to, in Europe and America. It is a thought that is not organic, because it does not have a total vision of reality but is handled with slogans, such as [el brasileño Jair] Bolsonaro, but that thought is successful in the current media system. And curiously there is a feeling of helplessness and belief that it is going to look like something we already knew. One thinks about Nazism and sincerely what is coming may be worse, because now the manipulation in the networks is person to person.

P. Can Bolsonaro and the extreme right be worse than Nazism?

R. For me if. Honestly, it can be and we are a little asleep.


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