Discovering Privilege in a Colombian Coming-of-Age Film

The Colombian director Mariana Saffon initial noticed a useless body when she was fourteen many years aged.

“It was a person I did not know, his overall body laid there on the floor, wet and swollen, his overall body full of drinking water,” she wrote in an e-mail. Viewing the physique stuffed her with a perception of both of those connectedness and detachment. “When I observed him lying there on your own, surrounded with strangers looking at the intimacy of his loss of life I felt extra than at any time how I was also there by yourself, among strangers in the intimacy of what I was feeling. . . . In that minute it felt like if we equally had a thing no just one else recognized. I felt for him, for his existence, for his loss of life and someway also for mine.”

A similar moment supplies a peaceful pivot issue in Saffon’s shorter film “Between You and Milagros,” which won the Orizzonti Award for Best Short Movie at the Venice Movie Festival in 2020.

The movie centers on Milagros, a teenager-ager from a perfectly-to-do Colombian family members, whose mom is caught up in a romance that leaves Milagros trailing at the rear of, hoping to capture more of her mother’s passion and awareness. One particular day, Milagros’s mom and her boyfriend go on a day journey with pals, leaving Milagros at home. She ends up paying out the day with Laurita, the family maid’s daughter, and Laurita’s mates. Sidelined in her mother’s glamorous everyday living, she is also uncomfortable and out of put in the company of these reduced-class little ones.

Saffon did not give the actors a script for taking pictures ahead of time, inquiring them in its place to “live in the circumstance and in the skin of the character.” The ensuing interactions captured in the movie have the multidirectional tensions of reality. When Milagros’s mother takes again a swimsuit that the female has borrowed for the working day because, she says, children—even children who can in good shape into their mother’s swimsuits—aren’t invited on this tour, Milagros bristles with the simultaneous resentment, longing, subordination, and insurrection that characterize that room concerning childhood and adulthood.

Milagros is carrying a various accommodate when she goes swimming with Laurita’s pals and 1 of them stumbles on a corpse a tiny way from the riverbank. It is a stunning instant, but, like the rest of the film, it is also quiet and lush, focussed on how the face reverberates for the young people today, significantly Milagros, whose privilege mainly shields her from the violence that has plagued Colombia for many years.

Saffon, who invested a lot of time through her childhood in the rural city of Ciudad Bolívar, exactly where the film was shot, reported she thinks “all the films in Colombia are intrinsically traversed by violence because it is what we know.” But telling a tale about a woman from Milagros’s social class imposes an abnormal angle on the concern.

“I desired to put her that step away from her privilege and [have her] be uncovered to the truth of her country confronting anything as full as death, exactly where she would concern not only the fact of her privilege but also her partnership to the entire world, to her mom and even her existence,” Saffon wrote. She added, “I have constantly questioned those people ‘normal’ dynamics concerning classes that for me are painful and violent and are an essential subject to place below scrutiny to recognize our state and our conflict.”

The movie doesn’t dwell on the horror of the scene or flip it into a driver of the action for Milagros. As a substitute, when she returns to her day to day lifestyle, the experience is just there in the background as Milagros proceeds to consider to draw shut to her mother and navigate her position amongst the prosperity she has developed up with and the young ones who give her a glimpse of their considerably less guarded life. Each and every scene of the movie is like a translucent layer, adding depth and element to construct a prosperous portrait of a young lady starting to understand her spot in the environment, and its implications.


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