Docile Bodies shows the life of criminal attorney Alfredo García Kalb. Next to him, we follow the process of two young marginal boys who have to face Argentine legal system, how it operates in issuing a sentence and the consequences it will have on them and their families. We will witness how the protagonist works in a way that the limits between the forbidden, the allowed, the personal and the professional become blurred, questioning the meaning of criminal law in today’s society, and observing the tension between confinement and freedom.
How did you choose the protagonist, who is the link throughout all the story?
MS: With Alfredo we studied together in Law school. We also made music and had friends in common. There’s a bit of that in the film, of mixing very different worlds. The world of law is very formal, and it’s very hard to find allies. With Alfredo, even though we were not friends, we got along well. It’s very theatrical, it has many narrative possibilities.
What difficulties did you find when it came to portraying a world reluctant to being shown?
MS: We were very low-profile. The film was built along the way. It was very difficult to think we could get into the legal world. We developed different strategies to get into a world that doesn’t want to be seen, that hides itself in a dark and closed place, filled with privileges. We have to admit we found less reticence in the prison system than in the judiciary.
How did you become interested in telling a story that works as a reflection of a wider situation, like Argentina’s judiciary?
DG: The possibility of recording the life of a criminal lawyer such as Alfredo, with the proximity we thought we could achieve, gave us an idea, from the very beginning, of the resonances the story could have, in all the legal system not just Argentina’s. Docile Bodies is a chapter of Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, one of our mentors in this approach to the prison system.
How did you work with the protagonists in order to achieve such a natural register?
MS: By interfering as little as possible. We only wanted Alfredo not to worry about register, not to take over the film but to let it flow, to trust in what was happening there. That was very powerful in itself. It took us two years to make the film, and in the very first days of shooting we perceived something artificial, which quickly disappeared.
Alfredo is an extraordinary actor, even though he is not an actor, so that’s his accomplishment. He works in different levels at the same time: with other people, with the camera, with his surroundings. He can resort to distance or humor in tense situations.
What are your expectations regarding the premiere of Docile Bodies in the Festival?
DG: I have very good memories of the Mar del Plata Film Festival. I premiered here my two previous films. We are looking forward to experiencing the festival, which is a film party. We really want to show the work we’ve been doing for the past few years.