Speaking about family ghosts means getting into the core of a contradiction. A ghost introduces a spectral or sinister dimension into something that we acknowledge as familiar. In the documentaries gathered in this program, familiarity is not necessarily sinister (although this is faintly seen in movies like The Quiet Noise), but there are absences, gaps to fill, wounds to heal, legacies to correct, and to move forward, having been transformed. Familiarity is not circumscribed to the family scope, but it expands to something that we can call “the known” (a country, a community of origin, an identity, a landscape), and upon which (like what happens in documentaries like Cruz) there is a threat.
Works that pursue an autobiographical record like El árbol de Matías or Objetos rebeldes coincide here, with urgent complaints, reencounters, revelations. The inquiries about family and community memories and the questions about the slippery supports in which these memories are registered, spring organically and they offer partial answers to a general challenge: at which point are the personal, the familiar, and the social intertwined and how can a film create common memories?
By Pedro Adrián Zuluaga