Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Otteita keskenjääneestä päiväkirjasta / Fragmentos de un diario inacabado / [Fragments from an Unfinished Diary]

FI 1983. PC: Epidem Oy, Yleisradio. P: Mikael Wahlforss. D: Angelina Vásquèz. Ass: Anita Mikkonen. DP: Johan Engbom, Pablo Perelman - 16 mm. ED: Anja Rouhivirta. M: Joe Davidow. S: Marcos De Agullre. Trick photography: Tahvo Hirvonen. Sound editing: Matti Nuotio. Negative editing: Maire Seppälä. Colour definition: Olli Sarnasto. 60 min. The beginning (29 min) of Epidem's 16 mm print was screened, in Spanish and Finnish, with Spanish and Finnish subtitles. Cinema Orion, Helsinki (In the Core of the Documentary), 26 Oct 2011.

From Ilkka Kippola's programme notes: "Fragments from an Unfinished Diary was the last of Angelina Vásquèz's films during her exile, and it was her first update on the state of her country after years spent abroad. A sound camera conveys lethally dangerous comments from everyday Chilean life during the military terror. Comments by mothers of prisoners in concentration camps, a trade union leader sent to isolation far away, the Christian Democrat Gabriel Valdés freed from prison, and the General Gustavo Leigh who has stepped out of the military junta."

"Epidem's cinematographer Johan Engbom was deported from the closely observed country, but the Chilean Pablo Perelman brought the verbally agreed shooting plan into a conclusion. Vásquèz's travel diary, updated during the terror, is without names, dates, and places. The abstract, evasive comments, and sporadic candidness to the hidden camera all heighten the Orwellian atmosphere in a movie divided into episodes, which is fragmented by empty black frames by the trick photographer Tahvo Hirvonen." (from Ilkka Kippola's programme notes, translated by AA).

Unique clandestine footage on Chilean suffering during the military terror. The harassed grandmother, the importance of the common soup kettle, the land of the deported (relegacio), the calm account of the trade union leader on torture, "you surprise me, Santiago, with your vitality", the hidden camera on the train, "folklore is like a whisper", the importance of song: "I play my guitar to ease my pain as I think about my missing son", "it is not the same to die of pain as of shame": a motto for the general who stepped out of the junta. Only the first half of the movie was shown. The 16 mm print was apparently vintage, an used print with the colour intact.

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