Argentine Competition

Interview with Federico Cardone, director of «Lagunas»

Interview with Federico Cardone, director of «Lagunas»

How did you approach Liliana Bodoc and why did you decide to approach this universe through her eyes?

I had read some of her novels and short stories, but what had interested me most was her place within the world of literature. The first time I spoke to her was at a book fair. I couldn't believe it: she had so many fans, a kind of rock star for teenagers and young people. However, her literature featured characters who came from the margins of society, like her. She actually started publishing when she was older. The other thing that interested me about her was that my children Clara and Benicio really liked her stories, especially one called “Sucedió en colores” (“It Happened in Colors”). That book was very good for us as a family.

How was the project transformed with her untimely death?

The editing of the film was a very long process, because it received only two of the four quotas that we were supposed to receive after winning a competition. As we ran out of funds we were unable to work with all the technicians required for post-production. In that solitude of the editing, Liliana's unexpected death occurred. The first question was: what to do? It was very strange to develop her scenes without her. In addition, there were some scenes still left to film. We decided to visit Jorge and Romina, Liliana's husband and daughter, at her house in San Luis. In her desk, we found the notebook that she had taken to Lagunas and that appears in the film. How could we not film it? How could we not add it to the story? Lagunas is a film about a language that no longer exists, from Liliana who is no longer here. Maybe a movie will serve that purpose, so that some things don't go away completely.

Why did you decide to add an autobiographical dimension to the film and how did you consider the relationship between these different lines that open and intertwine?

That idea appeared later. It was not in the script. Patricio Guzmán said that a documentary is a displaced autobiography (or something like that). I think I went a little bit too far because I included more of my biography than I would have imagined or wanted. At that time I was reading some novels that were very autobiographical. And I really liked the level of intensity, the power they achieved. I don't know if it was a very conscious decision. It happened on its own, despite me. Maybe to make amends for something my children were going through. They say stories help. I wanted to know if it was true.