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Enrique Baró • Director

“For me, film was a place of salvation”

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- At long last, La película de nuestra vida, the feature debut by Enrique Baró, is being released in Spain, after being presented at the Seville Film Festival and screening at Barcelona's D'A

Enrique Baró  • Director
(© Lorenzo Pascasio)

La película de nuestra vida [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Enrique Baró
film profile
]
straddles the border between fiction and documentary, featuring nostalgia and cinephilia as its unifying elements. It was premiered in the New Waves section at Seville 2016, picked up a Special Mention at the recent D’A Film Festival in Barcelona and is now being released in Spanish theatres, distributed by Márgenes. Here, Enrique Baró, its director, screenwriter, producer and editor, lifts the lid on several aspects of the movie.

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Cineuropa: In Spain, do you either have to self-produce or not make films at all?
Enrique Baró: I realised that if I went down the usual path of production and grants, I would end up losing the will to shoot, so as this was such a small film, I was overcome by a surge of courage – or recklessness – and I organised a simple shoot: we ended up making a film in the same way that my family used to record the images from their lives. It came about almost by chance, and people came on board the project in a natural, selfless way. This is one of the strong points of the system as well as one of the obstacles: we were able to make this film, but another debate would be whether or not this system is sustainable.

Why use your own family as a storyline?
You can never have enough movies that talk about experiences: it’s an inexhaustible gold mine. Jaime Gil de Biedma used to say that the only theme there is is “me and the passage of time”. I’m a shy person, and I’m surprised that I shot such a personal and autobiographical movie: it’s made up of elements that I could control fully.

Summer is a state of mind in your film.
Absolutely, despite the fact that it was filmed in May: we created a whole summer in one week, so we treated ourselves to one more in our lives. The editing was done in the winter, so in the process I indulged myself in some nice summery moments.

Fiction and reality constantly intertwine in the film.
That wasn’t constructed, because that’s how I always experienced it in that house. It’s a house that was built by my grandfather in 1950, and he had nine-and-a-half-millimetre films at that time, which we had fun with in a very natural way, enjoying ourselves and playing, as the act of recording formed part of our entertainment. We’ve always tried to capture those moments: I saw my father and grandfather doing that constantly.

In your movie, cinephilia is not just something that saves you from reality, but also acts as a calendar of your life: you remember your existence through film.
I’ve already positioned film in more of an adult place, but I started out making cinema because it was a place of complete salvation, a place that contained all the possible art of poetry, the refuge of the dark room, a place that was not so different to real life. And for me, actors are like a secular group of saints.

Is nostalgia the driving force behind La película de nuestra vida?
Yes, but there’s something therapeutic about it: I suffer from nostalgia, and that’s why it was necessary to work with a constructive form of it, not one that was indulgent, exhilarating or backward-looking, but rather one that would serve to recall and relive those days, activating them in the present. We mustn’t forget to continue enjoying ourselves, as in 20 years’ time, we will look back and remember this moment as a pleasant one. The characters in my film are always enjoying the moment.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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