La Quemadura

René Ballesteros
France, Chile | 2009 | 65 min
Swiss Premiere
Language : Spanish
Subtitles : English, French

In an intimate quest undertaken with modesty, the filmmaker René Ballesteros and his sister seek to reconnect with their mother who disappeared twenty-six years ago. She left the family in Chile in order to start a new life in Venezuela. The only symbolical heritage she left them is a collection of books that were banned during the dictatorship. This library becomes a concrete tool to discover the history of the family, reconnect with the mother and bring back buried memories. With courage and goodwill, the director decides to dive into the past, just as he manages, after some hesitation, to dive into the swimming pool where he’s learning to swim. Over telephone conversations, certain pieces of the puzzle seem to fall into place, and discussions with other members of the family enable the gaps to be filled. The archives, visited to find the traces of the banned books, echo the family archives marked by the wound of abandonment. The conversations with the maternal ghost thus seek to give substance to a misunderstood absence, to turn the page on a book that was never read.
Jasmin Basic


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