“The American Deep South is a strange universe. In the rural entrails of the United States coexist religion and faith, farming and raising cattle, nature… and alcohol, guns and cowboys.”
“There is no screenplay and there are no director notes, the films stay difficult to finance because of this.The writing is editing, a huge effort carried out on 180 hours of film, which is authored by Marie-Héléne Dozo, she is my ‘screenwriter'”.
“I don’t review the footage and I give everything to the editor, Marie-Helene Dozo, who is a very good friend, I worked with her on all my films throughout my career. She works alone for some months, editing without any sort of guidance from me. Sometimes I can’t resist the temptation to send her an e-mail in which I say that I see a story in a certain part, but she, she knows me very well so she doesn’t even pay attention to those. She builds her own stories, and since she watches the footage before I do, she sort of can do whatever kind of outline she wants to, sequences in the timeline. Then we get together, for three to five months, ….”
“So I’m consciously standing in the limbo between documentary and fiction. Why? Because, sometimes reenactment – or as Jean Rouch says “restoring behavior”, which again stems from reality, from the character’s story but needs to be reenacted, needs to be brought back to life – is very important and especially for them to have a chance to tell this story fully. It gives the chance to those who are perceived as victims, and those who are perceived as perpetrators, to express themselves and tell the story fully and freely. So, how do we do that? We do that, again, by jointly deciding what’s there for me to observe and what’s there for them to tell me through reenactments. So the film is a combination of observation and reenactment. Now, there is nothing there that is completely fictional, so there’s nothing that does not belong to them; that has not been of them, that will not belong to them.”
On Monday 07.10 Roberto Minervini and Marie-Hélène Dozo meet at CINEMATEK to share with you their stories and experiences about collaborating and about (experimental) film in the USA and Europe. The kick off of a complete retrospective of Roberto Minervini’s films and the first chance to present his carte blanche.
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