Fogo (Olaizola)

Fogo (2012/Yulene Olaizola/Mexico/Canada) 1h01'
Cannes 2012 - Quinzaine des Réalisateurs
The deterioration of a small community in Fogo Island is forcing its inhabitants to leave and resettle. Places once occupied by humans are now becoming part of the tundra landscape. In spite of a condemn future, there are some residents who decide to remain, holding on to their memories and grieving for the past, when life in Fogo was different.

Interview :
"Basically in those kind of shots, where they are just walking and we are shooting the landscape, it took us a long time to set up the camera, to decide the place and to frame... So we were working on that for a few hours and then I just gave them directions from which point to which point to go. And everything else was all improvisation. They just had to walk. When I talk about improvisation, it's when they talk to eachothers in the dialogues. So the dialogues are really improvised. [..]
The film is about life, it's about people who love their land. I think all those concepts were appearing in the film little by little. Maybe I didn't have them all clear in my head. I was inspired by what I saw in that place. And one of the things that stroke me the most was to meet these two characters, Norm and Ron, who are young guys compared to the rest of the island's population. Thye never got married for exemple. They used to live outside of the island where they could find more jobs, but they decided to come back to the island even though they probably knew they couldn't find a woman there. But they don't care about that. they don't care about founding a family. They wanted to be in their land. That's one of the things I wanted the film to reflect. And that's why I decided to tell this story about this question of staying or leaving the island. [..]
I think the rhythm of the film is connected to the life on the island, where the people are really connected to Nature. The weather is one of the most important things. I exagerated the slow rhythm a little bit maybe to illustrate the idea that it's dying. That's why the characters sometimes stop and stare for a while. It was my way to reflect the idea that they were thinking about the end of something. The end of the life in that place. Or the end of the world. It was my way to say it in a subtle manner. [..]
If you see my other films, especially the last one, Artificial Paradises (2011), which I shot in a Mexican jungle, the connection with Nature and the character is also very special. But it was also because I chose a real character in Fogo, who was connected to Nature. So I don't show my personal connection with Nature, but theirs."

Related filmography :
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La Nuit Nomade (2012/Marianne Chaud/France)

An ethnographic documentary on a small tribe, dying out to rural exodus, of 20 families in a remote valley of the Indian Hymalayas (Kashmir region). Marianne Chaud is a French student in ethnography who has been studying their language and is able to talk to them directly, without interpreters, which they are quite grateful and admirative about. She follows them in the harsh conditions of this high mountain climate, on foot, only assisted by a sound engineer, during a few months. A totally immersive document about real people victim of the exploitation of the luxury business (the kashmir wool) for which they raise kashmir goats at the price of great sacrifices for them and their families.

Related :


HarryTuttle said…
Paraísos artificiales
Directed by Yulene Olaizola (Mexico, 2011) hosted by IFFR, Rotterdam Int. Film Festival (geographical restriction)