Attempts Towards the Apprehension of Truth
Fiction is lacking the authenticity of the documentary. In contemporary cinema, many directors have tried to contaminate themselves in the veracity of reality, but there is usually a paradox; what seems to be a reaction to a certain artificiality ends up by being mistaken with a determined aseptic aesthetics which reveals the distance between the people behind the scene and the universe they embrace.
This relates to a generalization, nevertheless, the technical skill has paid the price for this kind of detachment. As a matter of fact there is no consciousness in regard to the irregularity between the geographical barrenness and the capricious camera, the contrast does not appear as a possible eventual option. Anyway, not many current productions are capable of resisting the stylistics and the interference of the camera which constitute themselves as barriers between the public and the work.
“Narradores de Javé”, one of the films in the Première Brasil selection at the Rio Festival (and main winner in the prizes given by the official jury), does not exactly represent these trends but shows clearly the need for the directress Eliane Caffé (producer of “Kinoma”) to achieve the credibility for the faces marked by life to invade her story.
In the film, however, there isn’t only a story but the several individual appropriations made by the local residents who when projecting themselves in the historical facts, remove the burden of officiality and tear down the concept of a unique truth. Many documentaries, inclusive, reach the human dimension as they give up the preconceived certainty and thrust themselves into the dark, assuming the changes that took place throughout the process of the making of the work.
“Fala Tu”, by Guilherme Coelho, was born as a project about three rappers from the carioca North District but suffered mutations when penetrating their individual daily lives and was helped by mere chance. Doubtless, however, that from the moment they are placed in front of the camera, people transform themselves into characters. The task consists, therefore, to make them “forget” the acting.
Nevertheless, when the fictional time allows itself to be invaded by the here and now of the documented timing – avoiding the performance to become evident on the big screen – the present time is established, causing an uneasy sensation in the viewer who does not feel himself in front of a story staged by actors but as the witness to a live event which is taking place at that exact moment. A “modernization” that leads you straight to the theater, a crafted and ephemeral manifestation in its origin.
Daniel Schenker Wajnberg
© FIPRESCI 2003