As I mentioned earlier, when I brought these memories back to consciousness, there was never a clear angle from which the scene took place. My memory´s eye was able to move across the imaginary locations without the need to be anchored to any particular point in space. So, how to choose the frames and the type of shots I would employ in this film? In other words: isn´t the act of deciding what to show and what to hide the fundamental operation of memory? Which events do we decide are important to our narrative and which elements are disposable? This is mainly a question of remembering and forgetting.

In my memories very few dialogues remained. Sometimes I remembered the overall theme of a conversation, some small snippets of the actual words; sometimes I just remembered that there had been a conversation, but I couldn´t tell at all what it was about or any word that was said. So I knew I couldn´t write dialogues for my characters. At the same time, I had a 7-year-old who had never acted in his life and who was obviously uncomfortable in front of the camera.

A lot of questions remained unanswered all of the time and I insisted my actors keep these vacuums empty. What are the characters doing in this wasteland? What are their goals and motivations? What do the characters want? All of these answers had been erased from my memory and, in this sense, it was best to leave them unanswered in the film. I just gave them the information that I remembered and I would ask Ulises (the father) to build the scene from these small fragments of lost time.


The result of this method is a series of scenes that depart greatly from what a traditional mise-en-scène looks like. My characters drift all of the time within their actions and words, they show no clear direction, no motivation, and no over-arching conflict: they speak, but their words have no weight. At the same time, a lot of questions remain open: what happened first? What are the characters doing in this place? What is the intention of this scene? Scenes have a life-like quality that departs from fiction and yet it is only as life-like as a memory can be.

At the same time, looking back at the footage, I would find that the scenes occupied an ambiguous position in terms of “how true they were”. Did things happen this way? I´m not sure, but they might as well have happened like this. The boundaries between reality and fiction, memory and imagination seemed to be blurred out.

In that sense, what would the difference be between memory and imagination?

continue to: Memory & imagination


My idea was to make this father and this son re-live the same conditions under which the original event took place so that, through their real reaction to the situation, a memory could arise.