Carlos Agulló • Director
"There's no need to live in fear of death"
by Alfonso Rivera
- After the success of his documentary Plot for Peace, Carlos Agulló presents the world premiere of his new film All the Other Days at the Seville Film Festival
All the Other Days [+see also:
interview: Carlos Agulló
film profile], a film that shows how a palliative care unit in Madrid operates, had its world premiere, out of competition, at the 14th Seville European Cinema Festival. We talked to the director, Carlos Agulló, a filmmaker experienced in the art of editing and making short films, who travelled to several countries for his previous documentary, Plot for Peace, produced in South Africa.
Cineuropa: MOD Producciones supported All the Other Days. How did this collaboration come about?
Carlos Agulló: It was sort of a lottery process: Fernando Bovaira called me up to suggest exploring some themes, and to film a documentary. We had already worked together before: I was an editor for a few of his films. He liked Plot for Peace a lot and so I suggested some themes in line with what I thought he might like. Once we had agreed on one, I talked to him about the palliative care theme, which I knew about thanks to personal experience, and he really loved it, and that's how All the Other Days was born.
Was it easier to film this documentary, in Spain, than the previous one?
Yes, this one was much easier: the other documentary had a budget that was ten times as high, but it was way more complicated, with highs and lows and various discussions. With this documentary, the producer left me to it and I felt completely free to do what I wanted. And I had a lot of support and advice, especially in terms of editing: two years of emotional engagement, in which I wrote, directed and assembled the documentary, with 160 hours of film. Their help was very constructive for the final assembly.
How did you create the script for All the Other Days?
I hadn't really intended to include so many voices, just the one patient, but once we’d finished, we’d ended up with eight. We did six months of research beforehand, during which I spoke to psychologists, priests and palliative care specialist doctors, but I was determined not to include interviews in the film.
How would you invite the public to go and watch your film?
I would say that death is sad and difficult, but not talking about it is terrifying: it means living life as slaves to fear. Talking about it makes you aware of your life and forces you to make decisions, rather than living like an amoeba floating in the direction of the tide. You have to get off the boat and make decisions.
So there is a before and after the shooting of All the Other Days for Carlos Agulló?
Yes, it has changed the way I understand death, and hence the way I understand life. We spend our lives thinking about the future, about projects, about what’s coming next, when there's actually a wholeness to every day that we live, in the here and now, not in waiting for things. It has changed the way I live in the present, as well as my view on old age. Society stubbornly gets it into ours heads that we need to be young and healthy to be cool, and that grey hair and wrinkles are not okay. But I like my hands the way there are now, with what they've experienced over the past 43 years, compared to when I was 16. Being old means experiencing important things that make you understand life: my grandmother may not know how to use apps, but can give me advice on a lot of different issues. I don’t see old age as a horrifying thing: I want to experience all of the stages of my future. And if I die tomorrow that's fine, because I've had a lot of freedom in my life.
(Translated from Spanish)
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