“You should not judge the character, you should walk with him”.

Jorge Colás presents his film, running in the Argentine Competition.
Jorge Leandro Colás ventures into fiction with Barrefondo, an adaptation of Félix Bruzzone's novel, which tells the story of Tavo, a pool guy working in the wealthy suburbs. Without abandoning its documentary perspective -approaching the characters through a sensitive camera-, Colás dives into the daily lives of those who spend their time witnessing how rich the others are. Frank and realistic, the film digs into the moral questions of a protagonist who has to face his own ghosts and the dilemma life shows him. Starred by an accurate Nahuel Viale in the role of Tavo, Barrefondo dares to show a reality that does not seem to be the exception.
How did you approach your film’s topic and why did you choose, for your first fictional piece, to adapt Félix Bruzzone's novel?

I got acquainted with Pool Sweeper thanks to a review on the paper. When I read it, I felt Bruzzone got the reader to enter the world of pools and pool sweepers in a simple yet brilliant way: through its protagonist. The way he speaks, his working atmosphere, certain moral ambiguities, the sphere of the outskirts of the city, that mix of humble neighborhoods and wealthy suburbs... All of those elements, filtered by reality -Félix works as a pool sweeper- composed a very attractive, powerful story that could be taken to the screen. Then, almost seven years ago, we met Félix, who betted on us and agreed to let us be in charge of adapting his novel.


What were the challenges when it came to jumping into fiction?

The first challenges had to do with the differences I was going to encounter during the shooting, in comparison to a field that I knew well, such as the documentary genre. In a documentary, teams are made up of four or five people, the shooting is long and, sometimes, period and, obviously, there are no actors. This time, I had to work with a team ten times larger, in a very intense shooting in a really short period of time and I had to get acquainted with the mysterious and fascinating world of actors. New things always brings up doubts, concerns and fear, but it was an experience I would repeat.


The protagonist's silences and his gestures are quite eloquent and clearly show the inner suffering. What was working in the actors’ direction like?

We worked in lot in that regard. I relied on the contribution of an actors’ coach, Lisandro Musso, who we worked with during the audiences and the rehearsals process before and during the shooting. We knew the key was in finding the best possible Tavo. The character is in absolutely all of the film's scenes, he's taciturn and he had to arise this feeling of being an iceberg, transmit very little to the outside and a lot to the inside. We organized a very closed audience -only three actors we chose from different spheres- and Nahuel Viale was selected. He is a very intuitive and talented actor who, by joining the project at a very early stage, helped us make up the rest of the cast around him, the rest of the colors and angles the film proposes from the acting side. I am extremely proud of the whole cast.


In Pool Sweeper, a pressing social situation is observed in the protagonist's behavior and doubts, something you manage to show very clearly, without predictable Manicheisms. What elements did you take into account in order to find that zero point from the description?

I felt the plot had to take place in an ambiguous, blurry environment, where there weren't neither good nor bad figures. In certain regard, all of the characters are a little bit good and a little bit evil, beyond some radical decisions some of them make, escaping the norm or the law. I think there is something I brought from my experience in the documentary genre, which is not judging our characters. I think we have to walk with them through their sinuous narrative journeys.


All of your films have been presented at the Festival. What are your expectations about the premiere of Pool Sweeper?

I think watching the film on the big screens of the Festival will be quite special. I cannot wait for that moment. In this very strange year for Argentine cinema, producing the film wasn't easy at all. We incurred in many economic risks to make it. It would have been impossible to make it if it hadn't been for the courage -and, in certain regard, the madness- of the film's producer and the persistence of a technical and artistic team that gave it all. When we shot the film, Mar del Plata Festival represented a very far lodestar that represented a possible premiere date. Today, the fact that the Festival has selected it is very rewarding and exciting for all of us.


Agustina Salvador


Today, Tue 21, 10.30 am, ALD 4
Today, Tue 21, 6.30 pm, ALD 4
Wed 22, 3.50 pm, ALD 4


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