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Men and Earth


(Votes count 168)

(Rating average 3,01)

Ramón Lluís Bande (Escoréu, 24 d'avientu de 1937) and Ben Russell (Good Luck) spoke this afternoon about their work in another Toma 3 FICX Vermuts.
Aside for sharing the Rellumes section, both documentaries coincide in showing the bond between the human body and the earth, each in their own way. In Bande's work images are an exhumation mixed with the oral story from the past. "One time overlaps the other while you get to know the story of the crime". Thus, 1937 and 2017 are captured as a single temporal continuum. Russel's film interests are also underground, in his case in two mines located in very opposite places: Surinam and Serbia. "Since time is my main character, I wanted to think what it means to live buried".

Another coincidence between both films it's they present a sense of timelessness. For Bande, "when you try to join two different dates, with a rigorous register of the present, you are demonstrate that you are not speaking about the past". A concern he had already developed in his previous works and it reflects "how these two times are part of a political and historical present continuum that isn't closed". After almost two decades of professional work, Russell believes that "in the beginning I didn't understand the present in a global sense", but now he wants to focus on "actions that happen simultaneously, connected with our culture and our bodies".

In both their titles there is an idea of destiny associated to realities that the authors know very well. In Good Luck he mentions "the luck the miners need in their work, but also the one for having been born in this place or that place", while Escoréu 24 d'aviento de 1937 recovers the precise date and place where the lives of the now exhumed corpses changed. Although Russell isn't from Surinam, he lived there and returns frequently. In contrast to other works, this time he wanted to "look at the miners like human beings, not cultural subjects". In Serbia, he got access to the mine just because his Croatian producer had contacts.

To sum it up, both directors defined their relationship with their profession. Bande states that his process of authorial opening was "gradual" and the first decision to consider himself a filmmaker was "renounce cinephilia", because he wants to "make reality itself the one dictating how to be filmed". Furthermore, Russell asserted that he isn't "a filmmaker although I make film", because he hasn't yet managed to solve the "relationship between reality and how to film it", a sense of total construction in cinema he associates with Bueñuel and Dali in Un perro andaluz.

Sergio de Benito
Palabras clave Festival de Cine, 2017