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Suave el aliento | Augusto César Sandino

[…] The Colombian filmmaker constructs a wonderful mosaic, through an astonishing work of editing, in which the very different characters gradually function in an increasingly correlated way, finally creating one organic body with many faces, that is: a family.

Filmexplorer had the special opportunity to meet Augusto César Sandino at the Black Movie Festival in Geneva. Here is the audio-interview with him, where he speaks about several interesting aspects of his movie.

Augusto César Sandino brings to the screen 24 hours of a normal, working-class family. Actually, it takes some time to discover that the different narrative lines are all bound together and constitute a family group whose connecting pole is the grandmother (a superb Vicky Hernández). The Colombian filmmaker constructs a wonderful mosaic, through an astonishing work of editing, in which the very different characters gradually function in an increasingly correlated way, finally creating one organic body with many faces, that is: a family.

This family is dominated by women and, more than just reflecting on the different generations, the variety of female characters speaks more generally to the multiple ways in which women are conscious of their role in society, in the family, in the relationship with men. It is through this intimate, almost private picture, drawn in great psychological detail through gestures and movements, that we access the landscape of Colombian society, in all its virtues and vices.

Suave el aliento (“gentle breath”) is a complex meditation on the very simple and essential aspects of life, mainly on human relationships. The fake black-and-white, which is actually a coloured under-saturated photography, gives us the flavour of an old photo-album, therefore setting us at a good distance to move freely in this family constellation, and to build our path of associations that the particularly open editing makes possible.

If the nice balance between the individual and the collective dimensions, between the psychological and social layers in Suave el aliento would apply to the relationship between men and women, this movie would be the portrait of happiness. But the difficulties of communication always weigh on the individuals, becoming a silent leitmotiv. This is nothing but the motive of silence itself, which is simultaneously the obstacle and the drive of this familiar drama.

Text: Giuseppe Di Salvatore | Audio/Video: Ruth Baettig
First published: January 31, 2017

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