IFFK focus: Argentinian filmmakers Virna & Ernesto on art in the age of fascism

"We try to ensure that those who were persecuted and killed for their ideas are not forgotten."

Anoop Menon Published :  09th December 2017 02:37 PM   |   Published :   |  09th December 2017 02:37 PM

Symphony for Ana

After being showcased at 100s of film festivals around the world, Buenos Aires-based director duo Virna Molina and Ernesto Ardito are in Kerala for IFFK 2017. Though they’ve already crafted 10 award-winning documentaries, their latest offering is a fictional film Symphony For Ana. 

Selected for the competition section of IFFK, it is an adaptation of Gaby Meik eponymous novel. Symphony For Ana is a tale of adolescent love within the framework of student militancy and Argentina’s military dictatorship of the 70s. We catch up with the duo for a detailed interview.

* Expectations at IFFK
We hope that the IFFK gives us an opportunity to increase the audience of the film in Kerala. Arriving in new continents is an amazing experience for us because we’re showing the film for the first time in India. We have many expectations. Not in a commercial sense of things, but like an exchange between Indian and Argentinean culture.

* Reactions to your films, among audiences across the world? 
Many times our films had similar reactions around the world because they narrated universal themes. Most of them talk about love and rebellion. It’s a theme that exists anywhere on the planet, where you can find sensitive human beings.Our films always have a strong theme, originality lies in the aesthetic and narrative resources based on poetry and emotion.

L:R — Ernesto Ardito and Virna Molina 

* Importance of visibility and acclaim via festivals like IFFK
Festivals and international awards are a window to the world for independent films. Yet, we believe that directors should not only think in the festival circuit or the prizes, they should not think they are geniuses. At the time of releasing a movie, you have to put your feet in the mud and go out to find as many viewers as possible. That’s what matters most—the general public of the host country attends the film screening. 

This is because of the fact that our film—based on the lives of people during Argentina’s fascist dictatorship of the 70s—has an objective that is to be a bridge of memory between two generations. We try to ensure that those who were persecuted and killed for their ideas are not forgotten and that the current generations can know their lives and their conflicts. If people do not go to the movies to see our film, then it becomes meaningless.

* If you could go start over with Symphony for Ana, what would you do differently? 
It’s something we always talk about because we're a director duo. Even though we’ve already made 10 documentaries before, it’s our first fiction film and it was a great learning experience. But fictional cinema is very different. 

* Censorship in film festivals?
We believe that behind all economic censorship, political censorship is hidden.